What to Consider When Choosing a Treatment for Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence, bladder, Southeast Urogyn

Urinary incontinence (UI) doesn’t discriminate: It affects millions of adults of all ages. In fact, an estimated 20 million adults are living with the stress and embarrassment of involuntary urinary leakage, and up to 80% of those affected are women. While the condition is not life-threatening, it can have a significant impact on your daily life.

Urinary incontinence affects mostly women, and it’s especially common after childbirth and as women get older. Stress incontinence is the most prevalent form of the condition. It occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or another activity that causes bladder pressure results in loss of bladder control.

Here at Southeast Urogyn, we provide the latest advancements in treatment for women with urinary incontinence. If you’ve been diagnosed with UI, there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms. Here’s what to consider.

Discuss conservative treatment for mild UI

Not everyone with urinary incontinence experiences severe, daily symptoms. If your symptoms are mild or less frequent, discuss conservative treatment options. We may recommend practical strategies, such as pelvic floor exercises or bladder training.

Pelvic floor exercises

Your pelvic floor consists of muscles that support your pelvic organs -- the bladder and bowel, as well as the uterus in women. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the pelvic organs can improve symptoms in mild cases of urinary incontinence. One way to do this is through simple exercises called Kegels that involve contracting the muscles that stop urine flow and holding the contraction for a few seconds before releasing and repeating.

Bladder training

Bladder training is an effective conservative option that involves voiding on a set schedule. Patients suppress the urge to void until the designated time. As you achieve success, you gradually increase the time between voiding. By delaying the urge to urinate, you help gain more control over your bladder and reduce the symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Lifestyle modifications

In some mild cases of urinary incontinence, lifestyle changes are enough to get control of symptoms and achieve relief. We may recommend weight loss if you’re overweight. Carrying excess weight places stress on many of the organs and systems of your body, including your bladder. Slimming down can help improve urinary incontinence in some overweight adults.

We may recommend other changes to your lifestyle, including managing your daily fluid intake. If you currently drink a large amount of fluid throughout the day, you may find that cutting back improves your urinary incontinence symptoms.

Consider medication for moderate UI

For moderate cases of UI, lifestyle changes and bladder training may not be enough to gain control over your symptoms. If you continue to experience symptoms despite trying initial treatments, it’s a good idea to discuss medication options. Various medications are available to control urinary incontinence, and we can discuss these options with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.

Surgery offers the highest cure rate

For severe cases of UI that fail to respond to lifestyle changes and medication, surgery remains the most effective option. Sling surgery is the most common procedure urologists perform to treat urinary incontinence. Your surgeon creates a hammock-like sling to support your bladder to help prevent leaks. Surgery can provide a lasting solution to severe cases of urinary incontinence.

 

Our team at Southeast Urogyn provides the highest level of urogynecological care. If you’re living with urinary incontinence, Drs. Harris and Speights have effective solutions. Call our office in Jackson, Mississippi, to schedule an appointment or click the online button.

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