Incontinence affects almost 18 million women, yet fewer than half of all people suffering from incontinence consult a health care provider. In particular, women often consider the problem an untreatable consequence of having children or aging. In fact, there are many causes of incontinence and all are highly treatable. Female stress urinary incontinence (SUI), overactive bladder (OAB) and Pelvic Organ Prolapse are the most common.
SUI occurs when pressure is exerted on the bladder, causing leakage. This can occur when you laugh, sneeze, cough, lift something heavy or exercise. Many women experience this after pregnancy and childbirth.
OAB is characterized by a sudden and unstoppable need to urinate, a condition that results from sudden, involuntary contraction of the bladder wall muscles. If you are urinating more than eight times per day, you may be suffering from OAB.
Pain and urinary leakage could be a sign of POP, a herniation of the pelvic organs that causes them to drop through the vaginal opening. The bladder, uterus and rectum are supported by a web of muscles, ligaments and fibers. When these are weakened, the organs drop, causing the pain and leakage.
There are many treatments available for urinary incontinence, including medication, physical therapy, bladder retraining, injection therapy, use of medical devices and surgery. The first step is to consult your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor will conduct a thorough history and physical exam, followed by a urinalysis. You may also be asked to keep a “bladder diary” to help diagnosis.
The bottom line is that incontinence is highly treatable. If you are suffering, don’t delay treatment any longer. You have many options!
Dr. Cespedes is a board certified urologist now accepting patients Cambridge, Chestertown, Denton, Easton and Queenstown. Call 410-820-0560 to schedule an appointment.
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.
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