Hello, my name is Gregory. When I was a young lad, I had to enter the health care world in an unexpected way. I developed a serious disease out of the blue that took doctors by surprise. I went through so many different testing procedures before my doctors could diagnose the rare disease. Everyone around me reeled as they tried to understand the purpose and process of the diagnostic tests. I hope to help others understand these important tests better through this website. Please come by often to learn all you need to know about medical diagnostics and working closely with health care professionals.
Urinary incontinence is a condition where the bladder leaks and the patient urinates involuntarily. The situation occurs when your control over the urinary sphincter is weak. Urinary incontinence affects both men and women but is more common in men than women. The leading causes of urinary incontinence include childbirth, pregnancy, menopause, age, obesity, hysterectomy, and some forms of surgical complications. Urinary incontinence is either urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, or total incontinence. Urge incontinence mainly results from cystitis, neurological problems like stroke, or an enlarged prostate. On the other hand, overflow incontinence occurs due to an enlarged prostate gland, constipation, urinary stones, or a tumor pressing on the bladder. Total incontinence occurs due to anatomical problems, spinal cord injuries, or a fistula. When you or your loved one have any form of urinary incontinence mentioned above, you can explore the following treatment options.
Your doctor can advise using pessaries, urethral inserts, botulinum toxin type A, sacral nerve stimulator, or bulking agents. A pessary is a rigid ring that doctors recommend you insert inside the vagina and wear all day. This device helps hold your bladder up and prevent leakage. Urethral inserts are a class of medical devices that women insert in the urethra before activity and take them out when they want to relieve themselves. Another important device is the botulinum toxin type A injected in the bladder muscle to help people with an overactive bladder. Bulking agents also involve injection, but doctors inject them into the tissue near the urethra to help keep it closed. The final device used for treating urinary incontinence is the sacral nerve stimulator. Doctors implant this device in the skin of the patient's buttock. This procedure also involves a wire connecting the spinal cord to the bladder. The wire emits an electrical signal that stimulates the nerve and helps control the bladder.
Radiofrequency therapy helps heat the urinary tract. Doctors may recommend this therapy if you are a hypermobile patient with stress urinary incontinence. The treatment works by shrinking the collagenated tissue that supports the proximal urethra and bladder neck. After healing, the urinary tract is often firmer, and you can control yourself.
Another viable option for treating urinary incontinence is medications that doctors recommend for use alongside other techniques. For example, topical estrogen helps reinforce urethral and vaginal tissues. Topical estrogen thereby lessens some of the symptoms of urinary incontinence. Some doctors also recommend anticholinergic drugs that calm an overactive bladder. This drug helps you deal with urge incontinence.
Surgery is a viable method of treating urinary incontinence when other methods fail. As a last resort treatment option, you should discuss its side effects with your doctor before deciding. For example, women who explore surgical options to treat urinary incontinence but still have children should discuss the issue with the doctor. Doctors use sling procedures, an artificial sphincter, or colposuspension. The sling procedure involves inserting a mesh under the bladder's neck to support the urethra and prevent urine from leaking out. The artificial urethra works as a valve to control the urine flow into the urethra, while colposuspension involves lifting the bladder neck to minimize stress incontinence.
If you or your loved one are suffering from urinary incontinence, you should seek medical help. Your doctor may recommend using medical devices, radiofrequency therapy, medication, or surgery to treat your condition.