The definition of urinary incontinence is an accidental release of urine upon sneezing, exercising, or even the sound of running water. A patient with urinary incontinence may also have the urge to urinate, but not reach the restroom in time. This bladder condition is more commonly seen in older women. Though not a major health issue, it can be rather embarrassing.
Urinary incontinence can occasionally be a short-term condition that can result from a urinary tract infection (UTI), constipation, or medication. In this case, once the main condition causing urinary incontinence is treated, it will improve as well.
Female patients, mainly older women, experience ongoing urinary incontinence, which can be caused by damage in the urinary tract or the nerves that regulate urination. This ongoing urinary incontinence can also be triggered by weakened muscles in the lower urinary tract.
There are two types of urinary continence:
This bladder condition is diagnosed by a urologist, who will ask the patient a series of questions and perform tests to determine if a patient has urinary incontinence. Some tests that may be performed are a urinalysis and post-void residual measurement. Also helpful in diagnosis is for the patient to keep a bladder diary. A urologist may also ask the patient to close their mouth, pinch their nose, and exhale hard. This can validate the presence of urinary incontinence in a patient.
Once urinary incontinence is diagnosed, a treatment plan is given depending on the condition’s severity, type, and the cause of it. A urologist will typically recommend a combination of treatments, which will normally involve the least invasive options. Behavioral techniques such as double voiding, bladder training, and fluid management are used to treat urinary incontinence without the use of medicines or devices. These treatment options can help train your body and your mind to control the urge to urinate. Medications can be prescribed, including topical estrogen and other drugs to relax the bladder.
Medical devices such as a pessary can be used to control a patient’s urinary incontinence. A pessary is a rubber ring that is worn all day, or during activities when a patient is prone to leakage. It is inserted into the vagina and located right near the cervix. A pessary supports the urethra and pinches it shut to prevent the leakage of urine. This treatment option is valuable for patients with urinary incontinence due to a prolapsed uterus or bladder.
The urologists at AUUA treat patients with urinary incontinence and other conditions, which are often difficult to discuss due to its sensitive nature. We help patients by offering the knowledge and compassion needed to treat most urologic conditions. Call us today to learn more about our treatment options and services we offer throughout Arizona.