My Urinary Incontinence Embarrasses Me: Can You Help?

 My Urinary Incontinence Embarrasses Me: Can You Help?

Urinary incontinence affects about a third of American adults. That’s a lot of people, but experts say that the real number is probably even higher.

Why? Because many people are too embarrassed to ask their doctors for help. Instead, they suffer in silence. There’s no reason to be embarrassed, and you shouldn’t let your symptoms interfere with your quality of life.

At OB-GYN Associates of Marietta in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia, our urogynecology team specializes in diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence. We can help you regain control, and here’s how we do it.

How urinary incontinence is diagnosed

If you experience involuntary urine leakage, going to the doctor is the first step in putting a stop to your symptoms.

We start with a comprehensive physical exam. We review your medical history and your current symptoms. Then, we do a urodynamic test.

Urodynamic testing evaluates how well your bladder, sphincters, and urethra work. We use the test to pinpoint the cause of your urinary incontinence and diagnose the type.

There are three main types of incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and mixed incontinence. Urge incontinence is sometimes called overactive bladder (OAB).

Once we’ve identified the causes and the type of urinary incontinence you have, we work with you to find a treatment plan.

Your urinary incontinence treatment options

Every woman’s needs are different, and you may need to try a combination of treatments for the best results. Some of the most effective urinary incontinence treatments we offer include:

Lifestyle changes

Managing your fluid intake can reduce the amount of urine your body produces. We may recommend drinking six to eight 8-ounce cups of water per day and avoiding excess fluids, alcohol, and caffeine.

Another strategy is bladder training or delayed urination. We may recommend scheduling toilet trips every two to four hours. If you have trouble waiting that long, you may start by waiting 10 minutes every time you feel the urge and gradually increasing the time between trips.

Pelvic floor therapy

Your pelvic floor muscles control urine flow, and weak pelvic floor muscles often contribute to incontinence. Pelvic floor therapy involves special exercises to strengthen the muscles and reduce your symptoms.

Our team may give you exercises to do at home, like Kegels. In some cases, you may benefit from going to a pelvic floor physical therapist.

MonaLisa Touch®

MonaLisa Touch is a nonsurgical form of vaginal rejuvenation. It uses a fractional CO2 laser to stimulate healthy tissue regeneration in one five-minute treatment session.

We often recommend MonaLisa Touch for menopause-related symptoms like vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. However, it can also improve symptoms of incontinence.

Botox® injections

Botox is best known as a facial wrinkle treatment, but its uses go beyond aesthetics. Botox injections can treat urge incontinence and OAB by relaxing your bladder muscles, effectively reducing your urge to go.

Urethral bulking

Urethral bulking is a minimally invasive procedure to help you regain control over urine flow. We inject bulking agents into the walls of your urethra. The procedure adds volume to your urinary sphincter and helps it close completely, reducing urine leakage.

Minimally invasive pelvic floor surgery

For most women, a combination of nonsurgical treatments effectively relieves their urinary incontinence symptoms. But if you still experience leakage after trying other options, you might be a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

Depending on your symptoms, we may recommend surgery to repair damaged pelvic floor muscles or nerve stimulation to improve communication between your brain and your urinary system. 

We understand how frustrating and embarrassing urinary incontinence can be, and we’re here to help you find a solution. Contact us to book an appointment at our offices in Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia, today.

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