Urinary Incontinence

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Urinary incontinence, or bladder control loss, can range from mild leakage to uncontrollable urine loss. 

 Causes include: 

The main types of incontinence are:

Stress incontinence – leakage while laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting a heavy object
Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder – immediate need to urinate with little warning to make it to the restroom
Overflow incontinence – involuntary urine release from an overfull bladder, often without urge to urinate
Mixed incontinence – shares the causes of stress and urge incontinence

Urinary Incontinence — Dr. Julie Stewart

Julie Stewart, MD, a neuro-urologist at Houston Methodist’s Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine, explains the differences in urinary incontinence in women and describes treatment options.

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence

Tests might include:
  • Urinalysis
  • Post-void residual measurement – measuring the amount of urine left in bladder
  • Bladder function tests
  • Cystoscopy – accurately measures prostate size and collects more obstruction information
  • Cystogram – X-rays using dye reveal urinary tract problems
  • Ultrasound

Urinary Incontinence Treatments

  • Behavior modification
  • Diet changes
  • Botox injections
  • Pessaries
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Surgery:
    • Urethral bulking agent – reduces the opening of the urethra to prevent urine leakage
    • Sling procedure – body tissue or synthetic material is used to create a “sling” to keep the urethra closed and prevent urine leakage
    • Artificial urinary sphincter – a device is implanted around the neck of a man’s bladder to keep the urinary sphincter closed until he is ready to urinate

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