Female Incontinence Treatment in Overland Park, Kansas
Approximately 17 million women in the U.S. encounter urinary incontinence in their lifetime. This condition can occur in women between the ages of 18 and 60 and beyond, and is usually a result of the urethra not being closed tightly to keep urine in the bladder. Most women will experience urinary incontinence shortly after giving birth as this process puts a great amount of strain on the pelvic organs. These will need time to recover before full functionality may be restored.
What Are the Symptoms of Female Incontinence?
Symptoms of urinary incontinence vary from:
- An inability to prevent leaking urine when exercising or other involuntary actions such as coughing or sneezing
- An overwhelming urge to urinate that often causes them to urinate before getting to a bathroom.
What are the Types of Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a range of different issues. Because of this, incontinence can be categorized in one of the following seven ways:
- Urge Incontinence: The sudden and unexpected need to urinate more than 8 times per day can lead to leaks voiding.
- Stress Incontinence: The involuntary loss of urine due to increased pressure on the abdomen and bladder.
- Overflow Incontinence: Small amounts of urine involuntarily leaks because the patient is unable to sense when the bladder is full.
- Mixed Incontinence: The most common form of urinary incontinence where patients exhibit symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
- Functional Incontinence: There is no issue with the urinary system, but the patient is unable to make it to the bathroom in time due to mental or physical limitations.
- Transient Incontinence: This form of incontinence is temporary and caused by a short lived condition or treatment for a condition.
- Total Incontinence: Total incontinence is the complete loss of urinary control due to a severe physical injury or abnormality.
How Is Female Incontinence Treated?
Generally, our gynecologists will help patients explore the most non-invasive treatment options possible to try and address urinary issues. If these methods are unable to deliver sufficient results and patients continue to struggle with painful or frustrating symptoms, minor procedures or surgery may then be recommended.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
- Behavior Therapies: Behavior modification is used to train one’s bladder and sphincter muscles by decreasing fluid intake and by prompting or scheduling voiding.
- Pelvic Muscle Exercises: Called Kegel exercises, these exercises commonly are intended to strengthen weak muscles surrounding the bladder.
- Protective Undergarments: Basically these are pads undergarments designed to absorb leaked urine.
- Catheter: These tubes are inserted into the urethra to collect urine into an external drainage bag. These are generally left in place 24 hours a day.
- External Devices: Called a Pessary, this device is designed to apply pressure to help reposition the urethra permitting it to close tightly. It features a stiff ring that is inserted into the vagina to exert pressure press against the wall of the vagina and urethra.
- Bulking Injections: Bulking agents such as collagen are injected directly into the urethral lining to firm and bulk up the urethral lining so that the urethra can close more tightly.
- Medications: There are a number of medications to treat incontinence caused by urge to continually void. Where incontinence is stress related, there are no medications for to treat this. For incontinence caused by a combination of both urge and stress, drug therapy may be helpful in treating the urge component.
Urinary Incontinence Surgery
There are a number of surgical approaches that our OBGYN doctors utilize when treating patients in order to strengthen, support, elevate and/or restore the urethra and bladder. These are employed when other treatments are not working and include:
- Retropubic Suspensions: Surgical procedures (Burch procedure) intended to restore the urethra and neck of the bladder to a higher anatomical position.
- Slings: Procedures used to treat that treats hypermobility in which a sling is used to support the urethra when there is increased abdominal pressure.Bone-fixed slings – treat incontinence by supporting the urethra with a graft material attached to the pubic bone.
- Self-Fixated Slings: These can be used to support the urethra and are secured in place by friction and tissue ingrowth, and require no sutures or screws.