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Female Urinary Incontinence: It’s More Common Than You Think

Female Urinary Incontinence: It’s More Common Than You Think

Although many are reluctant to discuss it, urine incontinence affects women of all ages and backgrounds. Many women experience involuntary bladder leakage as they age, but urinary incontinence isn’t an automatic part of the aging process.

If you’re dealing with urine incontinence, there are treatment options that can help. Our skilled providers at Health Solutions in Tinley Park, Rockford, and Flossmoor, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana, are devoted to excellence in family medicine, including women’s health

Our team performs a thorough evaluation and recommends the most appropriate treatment approach to restore your bladder control. 

Who experiences female urinary incontinence 

Urine incontinence can affect anyone, but women are most frequently affected. If you’re pregnant, have given birth, have a small urethra, or have reached perimenopause or menopause, your chances are significantly higher. 

Diabetes, obesity, and certain gynecological conditions and procedures can also increase your risk. Roughly 10% of women in the United States experience urinary incontinence. By the age of 65, this figure rises to 35%, or more than one-third of all women.

Sign and symptoms

Urinary incontinence occurs when the muscles that keep urine in your body weaken, making it difficult to manage your bladder normally. The most frequent type is stress incontinence, which causes urine leakage when coughing, laughing, sneezing, lifting heavy things, or exercising. 

If this happens once in a while, it's not a huge problem. When symptoms become recurring and persistent, they’re most likely due to incontinence.

Urge incontinence is another form of urinary incontinence that causes a sudden, powerful urge to urinate. Overflow incontinence occurs when you’re unable to fully empty your bladder when you need to.

Treatment for urinary incontinence

The type and severity of your urinary incontinence symptoms will determine your treatment plan. Our team may recommend lifestyle modifications, medication, or pelvic floor exercises to help with your bladder issues. 

If these methods fail to provide enough relief, we may propose a minimally invasive treatment such as:

Sacral neuromodulation therapy

Sacral neuromodulation therapy involves using a device that sends electrical pulses to the sacral nerves near your tailbone. This minimally invasive treatment is often chosen for patients who haven't seen improvement with other therapies.

Botox® 

Botox is particularly useful in cases of an overactive bladder. When injected into your bladder muscle, Botox helps relax the muscle, reducing symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency. 

Urethral bulking through the cystoscope

Urethral bulking through a cystoscope is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat stress urinary incontinence. 

During the procedure, a substance is injected into the walls of your urethra to help narrow it and provide better closure of the urethral sphincter. This helps reduce urinary leakage caused by activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as coughing or sneezing.

Tension-free vaginal tape 

Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) is a surgical procedure effective in addressing urinary incontinence. It involves the placement of a mesh-like tape around your urethra to provide support and prevent leakage during activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as coughing or exercising. This minimally invasive surgery has a high success rate.

Laser and radiofrequency treatments

Laser and radiofrequency treatments are emerging nonsurgical options for managing female urinary incontinence, particularly stress urinary incontinence and vaginal laxity. 

These treatments work by delivering controlled energy to your vaginal tissues, stimulating collagen production and strengthening the supportive structures around your bladder and urethra. This results in improved urinary control and reduced symptoms of incontinence.

You don’t have to live with the stress and embarrassment of urinary incontinence. Reach out to our team to schedule a visit at our location most convenient to you to discuss your treatment options. Call our expert team or book an appointment online today.

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