Have you been embarrassed lately by not being able to get to the bathroom on time? Have you ended up with urine stains on your pants or skirt when in public? There are answers, and you can get this condition under control. Dr. Jovanovic OBGYN & Cosmetic Surgery on the Upper East Side, New York City, New York, has helped hundreds of women resolve urinary incontinence. Don’t let this problem control or limit your activities. Call or book an appointment online today.
If you cannot control your bladder function, resulting in urine being expelled accidentally, you have urinary incontinence (UI). Normally, your brain sends a signal to the bladder wall to tighten up, pushing urine out of the bladder to the urethra. It also sends a signal to your sphincter muscles to relax, allowing the urine to move out of the urethra. When the brain signal doesn’t work properly and/or the sphincter muscles are too weak, the result is often UI.
Many factors can cause incontinence in women. Muscles, ligaments, and nerves comprise your ‘pelvic floor’ inside your abdomen, which helps support and control the bladder. Childbirth, heavy lifting, or disease can damage the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor, weakening them and causing incontinence. Aging also causes muscles around the bladder to weaken so that it cannot hold much urine.
Dr. Jovanovic may advise conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your wishes, the severity of your condition, and your general health.
Conservative treatments include the following options:
Medications. Dr. Jovanovic can prescribe medication to help you control your bladder function. These medications may be contraindicated if you take other prescription drugs.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises. Called Kegel exercises, these moves squeezing and releasing the muscles that control your flow, strengthen the muscles and help lessen incontinence. The doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to explain how to do these exercises.
Laser treatments. The Femi-lift is a revolutionary new minimally invasive treatment for mild stress incontinence.
Vaginal devices. An insert or a ring, called a pessary, can be placed in the vagina, where it presses against the vaginal wall and urethra, lessening incontinence. You need to remove the insert regularly to clean it.
Behavioral/diet modifications. Bladder training involves gradually lengthening the time between emptying your bladder, which stretches it and enables it to hold more urine. Significant weight gain and obesity cause pressure on your bladder.
When other methods haven't worked, surgical procedures involve raising the bladder neck or urethra using sutures and securing them to ligaments or using the tissue to hold up the neck of the bladder or urethra near the pubic bone. Both options raise the bladder from where it has dropped on the pelvic floor near the vagina, which causes incontinence.