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About Bladder Health
Overactive bladder and urinary incontinence are common problems for women. Studies indicate that one in five women today have bladder control problems. If you are leaking urine, having to urinate frequently, or experiencing other symptoms of urinary incontinence, the caring experts at the Center for Women’s Health can help.
The Incontinence Clinic at the Center for Womens Health is designed to make it easier for women to navigate this sensitive, but important, health issue. The clinic provides coordinated care by a team of specialists, including gynecologists and a urologist, creating a seamless experience for women seeking accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment for incontinence.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
The two most common types of urinary incontinence in women are stress and urgency incontinence.
- Stress incontinence occurs when the muscles and tissues around the urethra (where urine exits) do not stay closed properly when there is increased pressure ("stress") in the abdomen, leading to urine leakage. As an example, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or running can cause stress incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth can stretch and weaken a woman’s pelvic floor muscles. Other things that can lead to stress incontinence are being overweight or obese, or taking certain medications.
- Urge incontinence (also called overactive bladder) involves a sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate. You may leak urine on the way to the toilet. Common triggers of urgency incontinence include unlocking the door when returning home, going out in the cold, turning on the faucet, or washing your hands. Causes of overactive bladder include damage to the bladder's nerves, damage to other parts of the nervous system, or damage to muscles. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and stroke can affect nerves, leading to urge incontinence. Bladder problems, such as infections and bladder stones, and certain medications can also cause it.
Importance of an Accurate Diagnosis
Stress and urgency incontinence have different treatment options, so an accurate diagnosis of the problem is important. That often means the involvement of more than one specialist. At the Incontinence Clinic at the Center for Womens Health, women have access to the different specialists they may need to see all in one place, eliminating the need to go from clinic to clinic in search of the proper diagnosis and treatment.
For most women, once the cause of the problem is correctly identified, effective treatment is available. The key is customizing a treatment plan that matches your individual situation.
Treatment options include:
- Managing fluid intake
- Physical therapy
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