You may have heard someone say that they leak a bit of urine when they sneeze or a cough. It is more common in women who have had children or gone through menopause. The pelvic floor can become weakened or the bladder muscles can become overactive, which can result in urinary incontinence.
No matter the cause, having urinary incontinence is debilitating to everyday life. Wearing a pad works for some, but if the problem increases it may not be enough. Besides, once you have gone through menopause, wearing a pad is usually the last thing you want to do again.
The good news is that urinary incontinence is treatable. The struggle is finding the correct treatment for you. There are medications on the market that can reduce the spasming of the bladder muscles. There are supportive devices, also called pessaries, that can be placed to support vaginal prolapse.
If the problem is neurological, then these treatment options will not work. A neurostimulator can assist in the communication between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. It is an implant that works on a consistent basis.
The procedure is gentle and simple. A lead is placed along the sacral nerves. The sacral nerves are located near the tailbone. A battery is also implanted to power the impulses in a discreet manner. Before going into surgery, your physician will do a test run. For a few days, you will wear a temporary stimulator to verify if this treatment produces the results desired. If it is successful, then an implant procedure will be scheduled for a permanent device.
The use of electricity for neurostimulation has been around for a very long time. You may be familiar with the cochlear implant or a pacemaker which utilize the same process. Gentle electric impulses can continue the transmission of information that the brain is failing to do.
Urinary incontinence is nothing to be embarrassed about; it is more common than you might think. It’s also not something you have to live with. There are treatment options that address the reason for the incontinence. Talk with your physician as soon as you notice symptoms. Discuss any changes you notice as soon as you notice them. The different types of symptoms are:
• Stress Incontinence: The most commonly discussed type of leakage. Whenever pressure is felt in the pelvic floor through sneezing, coughing, or heavy lifting you notice a bit of a leak.
• Urge Incontinence: Feeling an intense urge or fullness. You may urinate uncontrollably or need to go more frequently.
• Functional Incontinence: When you can’t hold it long enough to get to the bathroom. Sometimes you are in the bathroom, but you struggle to remove clothing in time to relieve the urgency.
You may even experience a mixture of symptoms. Early treatment will always produce the best results in any situation. Women’s OB/GYN Center is conveniently located in Pasadena and Webster, TX. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation!