Urinary Incontinence in Women
Incontinence is a common condition that involves the involuntary release of urine. Although not usually a serious condition, incontinence can be embarrassing and affect a women’s daily life. Common urinary incontinence symptoms may include: a strong desire to urinate, frequent urination, pelvic pressure, painful urination and bed-wetting.
Often, incontinence is caused by urinary tract infections or weak muscles in the urinary tract. These conditions can prevent the closing off of the urethra, which may cause urine to leak while performing common activities. In some cases, urinary incontinence may be a symptom of other conditions. Some common bladder and pelvic floor disorders that may cause incontinence are:
✔ PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE – Prolapse is the bulging, sagging or falling of pelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus, rectum or intestine.
✔ URINARY TRACT INFECTION – Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include burning when urinating, frequent urge to urinate, pelvic pain and fever.
✔ INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS – The inflammation or irritation of the bladder wall, experienced in interstitial cystitis, can cause chronic pain, the stiffening and scarring of the bladder, a decrease in the amount of urine the bladder can hold, painful sexual intercourse and a frequent need to urinate.
✔ BLADDER CANCER – The most telling sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. Other symptoms include pain when urinating, frequent need to urinate and an unproductive urge to urinate.
Women exhibiting the symptoms of incontinence should see their doctor to determine the cause, type and severity of their condition. Your doctor can diagnose the condition through a series of tests and an evaluation of the patient’s medical history. Testing begins with a pelvic exam to detect any physical abnormalities, and may also include blood tests and urinalysis. After testing, your doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and determine the cause of the condition in order to recommend the most appropriate treatment.
Treatment of Incontinence:
There are several different treatment options available depending on the severity of your condition. Conservative treatments are often effective, and may include the following: bladder training, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, medication to control pelvic muscle spasms, and exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and prevent urine leakage. For more severe cases of incontinence, a medical device or surgery may be used to relieve symptoms.
The OBGYN Jacksonville Team:
Our team of physicians and care professionals specialize in providing the women of Jacksonville with quality and personalized obstetrics and gynecology care. Our doctors deliver women’s healthcare in a comfortable and supportive environment, while paying close attention to the unique needs of each patient.