Does your bladder control your life?
Laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, a simple trip to the supermarket… to a woman with incontinence, these things signify insecurity, fear, embarrassment and humiliation.
Urinary incontinence is not normal and is always a symptom or sign of an underlying problem which can be treated.
There are several different types of urinary incontinence. The most common cause is stress incontinence, which is the leaking of urine when pressure is put on the bladder, such as when you cough, sneeze, exercise, laugh or when you lift heavy objects or even change body positions, such as getting up from a chair. Weakness of the ligaments supporting the urethra is the most common cause of stress incontinence.
The second most common cause of urinary incontinence is urge incontinence, which is when the urge to urinate is so strong that it is not possible to reach the toilet in time. This overwhelming desire to go may occur frequently during the day, as well as several times at night. It may be due to external pressure on the bladder, such as a vaginal prolapse, or it may be due to an inherent overactivity of the bladder muscle. Restricting fluids and constant preventative trips to the toilet only make matters worse.
What is a Urogynecologist?
A Urogynecologist is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist who has specialized in the care of women with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. The Pelvic Floor is the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, and nerves that help support and control the rectum, uterus, vagina, and bladder. The pelvic floor can be damaged by childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or surgery.
What Kind of Training Does a Urogynecologist Have?
Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. These doctors become specialists with additional training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of conditions that affect the female pelvic organs, and the muscles and connective tissue that support the organs. The additional training focuses on the surgical and non-surgical treatment of non-cancerous gynecologic problems
What Services are available from a Urogynecologist?
- Multichannel Urodynamics can be done at the office if indicated by your doctor. The test consist of studying the muscles and nerves of the bladder and pelvic floor to evaluate your urinary symptoms. The test is painless and is only minimally uncomfortable.
- Cystourethroscopy is performed in the office for evaluation of bladder/urethra problems. This test consists of inserting a very small camera in the bladder for full visualization of the bladder and urethra. This test is quick and painless.
- Full rehabilitation for your pelvic floor muscles with the latest technologies. Physical therapy for your pelvic floor is very helpful and can resolve many symptoms.
What Treatment Options are Available from a Urogynecologist?
A Urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, or other pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. He or she may advise conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your wishes, the severity of your condition and your general health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic exercises, behavioral and/or dietary modifications and vaginal devices (also called pessaries). Biofeedback and Electric Stimulation are two newer treatment modalities that your Urogynecologist may recommend. Safe and effective surgical procedures are also utilized by the Urogynecologist to treat incontinence and prolapse. He or she will discuss all of the options that are available to treat your specific problem(s) before you are asked to make a treatment decision.