If you’re embarrassed by urinary incontinence, it may help to know you’re not alone. Loss of bladder control affects 13-17 million women and men, many of whom need advanced therapies to overcome the problem. At Gulf Coast Urology, John Bertini, MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, have years of experience providing customized treatment to stop urinary incontinence, including today’s most innovative and effective therapies such as neuromodulation. To get the help you need for urinary incontinence, call the office in Nassau Bay or Houston, Texas, or schedule an appointment online today.
Urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control leading to urine leakage, has two primary causes: Muscles that control urination can weaken, and you can develop problems with nerves involved in bladder control.
In women, hormonal changes at menopause and pressure on muscles and nerves during pregnancy and vaginal delivery increase their risk of developing urinary incontinence. Men with an enlarged prostate are more likely to develop urinary incontinence. In both genders, age-related changes in bladder muscles affect their ability to control urination.
You may develop one of these types of urinary incontinence:
Stress incontinence refers to urine leakage that occurs when pressure is placed on your bladder. Laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting, and physical exercise may all trigger urine leakage.
Stress incontinence develops due to stretched or weakened pelvic floor muscles. While this type of incontinence is most likely to affect women, men may develop stress incontinence after surgery for prostate cancer.
Also called urge incontinence, this type of urinary incontinence occurs when your brain tells your bladder to empty or when the bladder muscles are overactive. In both cases, you suddenly have an uncontrollable and strong urge to urinate, and you must get to the bathroom quickly or risk urine leakage. Men and women are nearly equally likely to have an overactive bladder.
You may have stress and urge incontinence at the same time, which is mixed incontinence.
Since stress and urge incontinence have different causes, they also have different treatment approaches:
Treatment for stress urinary incontinence often begins with lifestyle changes such as weight loss to alleviate stress on the muscles and Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles.
When conservative methods don’t work, your doctor at Gulf Coast Urology may recommend urethral bulking agents and sling surgery to support the muscles. Men with severe stress incontinence may need surgery to insert an artificial urinary sphincter.
Treatment for an overactive bladder usually involves relaxing the muscles with oral medication or Botox® injections. The team at Gulf Coast Urology also offers percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) and InterStim®. Both treat an overactive bladder by stimulating nerves, which in turn normalizes communication between the bladder and the brain.
If you suffer from urinary incontinence, help is available at Gulf Coast Urology. Call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online today.