Urinary Incontinence — an accidental loss of urine — is a common problem for women throughout adulthood, and often seriously affects their work, hobbies and social life.
Making matters worse, we have found that it is a difficult problem to discuss because some women are embarrassed by it, think it is just a “normal” part of aging, or think it is something they have to live with. Please brush those prideful thoughts away and talk with your GYN doctor. There are many treatment options now available which can quickly improve your life, increase your social activity, return you to exercising, and have you enjoying sex once again.
In order to appropriately diagnose the cause of a woman’s Urinary Incontinence, our GYN doctors will perform some diagnostic tests. These tests can be as simple as a urinalysis or urine culture, or more in-depth like an urodynamics test. This testing can be performed in our GYN office and many times the results are available during the same appointment. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment options can be discussed with our GYN doctors.
Following are some tips on how to reduce the likelihood or severity of incontinence. In general, avoid increasing pressure inside the abdomen and on the pelvic floor by:
• Maintaining a normal weight or losing weight if overweight. Overweight women have a greater risk for developing incontinence. Carrying excess weight also worsens the severity of urinary incontinence.
• Avoiding constipation and chronic straining during bowel movement, which can weaken the muscles and nerves and stretch the connective tissues of the pelvic floor, predisposing women to develop incontinence. A diet with plenty of fiber and fluids, as well as regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy bowel function. If constipation persists despite these measures, further evaluation and treatment is recommended.
• Seeking medical attention to evaluate and treat a chronic cough.
• Avoiding heavy lifting and learning how to lift safely by using leg and arm muscles.
• Not smoking, or kicking the habit!
• Avoiding repetitive strenuous activities.
• Learning and performing pelvic floor muscle exercises regularly.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us by clicking here.