Urinary incontinence is common, and many treatment options are available from Dr. Robert Gregory Owens at Advanced Pelvic Surgery, the premier pelvic floor rehab center in Southern Ohio. Dr. Owens has a personable bedside manner and extensive experience helping women overcome urinary incontinence, taking a practical, individualized approach that features functional therapies, medication, and minimally invasive surgery. To learn more about incontinence treatment from a caring professional who’s double board-certified in OB/GYN and female pelvic medicine and surgery, call the office in West Chester, Ohio or book an appointment online today.
Urinary Incontinence Q & A
What causes urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence occurs when you unintentionally release urine. You may develop temporary incontinence due to a urinary tract infection, but ongoing incontinence is usually caused by weak pelvic floor muscles or a problem with the nerves controlling your bladder.
Several factors can contribute to incontinence, including:
- Hormone changes: loss of estrogen leads to muscle atrophy and a weak urinary tract
- Pregnancy and childbirth: the baby’s weight and vaginal delivery weaken pelvic floor muscles and nerves
- Age-related changes: bladder muscles weaken over time
- Obstruction: overflow incontinence can develop in a blocked urinary tract
What are the different types of incontinence?
There are four primary types of incontinence:
Urge incontinence - Also called overactive bladder, urge incontinence makes you leak urine when you have a sudden and strong urge to urinate, and your bladder muscles contract before you get to the bathroom.
Stress incontinence - You leak urine when abdominal pressure increases, such as when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or pick up a heavy object. Leakage occurs when muscles that control the bladder and urethra -- the tube carrying urine from the bladder out of your body -- weaken, or when urethral tissues degenerate due to loss of estrogen.
Overflow incontinence - This type of incontinence develops when your bladder doesn’t empty completely, so it quickly gets too full. As a result, the extra urine leaks to prevent overdistention.
Functional incontinence - Men and women with functional incontinence have physical or mental reasons for why they can’t get to the bathroom in time to urinate.
How is incontinence treated?
Dr. Owens listens to your concerns then determines whether to conduct urodynamic studies. These tests evaluate how well your bladder stores and releases urine and test muscle function in the urethra.
After identifying the underlying cause of your incontinence, he recommends the best treatment options. Your treatment may include:
- Bladder training to delay urination and get better bladder control
- Medications to relax bladder muscles
- Collagen injections to partially block the urethra
- Urethral inserts or pessaries to block urine leakage
- Implanted electrical device to relax the bladder
- Minimally invasive surgery to support the urethra and repair pelvic floor muscles or pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic floor physical therapy
- Botox injection into the bladder to decrease bladder overactivity
Pelvic floor physical therapy includes many therapies, such as exercises and electrical stimulation to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and therapeutic ultrasound to improve tissue flexibility and restore tissues.
If you struggle with urinary incontinence, book an appointment online or call the caring team at Advanced Pelvic Surgery, where you can count on Dr. Owens, who has practiced urogynecology in Cincinnati for more than 20 years.