If you’ve experienced incontinence, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many women, particularly those who are postmenopausal, experience incontinence. However, there are treatment options, so your life doesn’t have to be limited by this problem.
Types of incontinence
There are several types of incontinence. The two most common are stress incontinence and and urge incontinence; two other types are overflow incontinence and functional incontinence. It’s entirely possible to experience multiple types.
If you have urine leaks when you laugh, sneeze, cough, or otherwise put pressure on your bladder, you are experiencing stress incontinence. This is the most common type of incontinence experienced by women.
Stress incontinence can often be treated with physical therapy, especially if it’s mild. Strengthening the weakened muscles that allow the urine to leak is a conservative and effective method to treat the problem.
In some cases Dr. Neyman may recommend surgery. Most of the time the surgery involves implanting a small piece of mesh to shore up those relaxed muscles. This surgery is outpatient, so you won’t need to stay in the hospital, and you’ll likely be able to return to your normal activities the next day.
A less common type of incontinence, urge incontinence is when you feel a sudden and intense urge to go to the bathroom. Following the intense urge, you experience an involuntary loss of urine.
Urge incontinence is sometimes related to another condition. It may be something minor like a urinary tract infection, or something more serious like diabetes or a neurological problem.
If your bladder doesn’t empty completely when you go to the bathroom, you may experience a constant dribbling of urine. Although women can experience overflow incontinence, it’s more common among men.
Functional incontinence has more to do with other problems than bladder health. For example, if you have arthritis, you may have difficulty in getting your pants unbuttoned quickly enough. Any impairment that limits your ability to reach the bathroom quickly enough could cause functional incontinence.
You may have more than one type of incontinence. For example, you may have both stress and urge incontinence. Talking to Dr. Neyman and undergoing some routine tests will help determine which type or types of incontinence you’re experiencing.
There are some recently developed treatments that may work for you, especially if previous treatments had unsatisfactory results.
Botox has been used in cosmetic applications for more than two decades, and recently researchers have been exploring its use in other situations. In 2013, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox for use to treat some bladder problems, such as overactive bladder.
Although clinical trials are very promising, the effects of Botox wear off. You may need an injection every 4-10 months to maintain the results. Dr.Neyman can refer you to a qualified urologist for Botox therapy.
Another drug called mirabegron has been effective for some patients with incontinence. You’ll want to discuss your medical history with Dr. Neyman as one of the potential side effects of mirabegron can be higher blood pressure.
The FDA approved another treatment for some bladder problems in 2013, a patch that releases oxybutynin. The same drug had been available for years, but in the form of a pill. The patch is available over-the-counter, but you should discuss whether it will work for you with Dr. Neyman.
Also, the Mona Lisa Touch vaginal laser therapy can not only help improve vaginal dryness, it can help to prevent stress-related incontinence in some cases.
If you’re experiencing incontinence, book an appointment to discuss your options with Dr. Neyman. You may have more treatment choices than you realize! You can schedule online or by phone quickly and easily.