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Treatment for Female Incontinence
Female incontinence is a common condition, especially among those who are older or have given birth. It can lead to a minor amount of urine being involuntarily expelled throughout the day. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available. This review discusses the condition in greater detail, highlighting the range of potential causes and the various treatment solutions that are available and which ones might be most appropriate for you.
What is female incontinence?
Urinary female incontinence is a condition in which urine involuntarily leaks out between trips to the bathroom. This can cause embarrassment and in some cases, even increase the risk of infections. There is a range of potential causes of female incontinence, and determining the underlying cause is vital to help ensure the proper treatment plan.
What are the causes of female incontinence?
There are two primary types of female incontinence: temporary and persistent. Temporary female incontinence is often the result of drinks, foods, and/or medications that act as diuretics or otherwise increase urine volume. A urinary tract infection may also cause temporary female incontinence, but a persistent condition has a longer-lasting underlying cause. Other common causes of female incontinence include pregnancy, aging, menopause, and certain neurological disorders.
What are the treatment options for female incontinence?
The most common treatment solutions for female incontinence include changes in behavior, medications, electrical stimulation, interventional therapies, and surgery. The recommended plan depends on the underlying cause and the patient’s preference for treatment. It is important to discuss all available treatment options with the OBGYN. The following is a more detailed review of standard treatment options.
Behavioral changes are often enough to address female incontinence for the long term, especially when treating stress and urge incontinence. First, it can help patients to urinate more often and keep a consistent schedule for bathroom trips; this is referred to as bladder training. By going more often and consistently, there is less urine in the system, which can subsequently reduce incontinence. The body can adjust to a consistent routine without a constant strong urge to urinate.
It can also help to avoid excessive drink consumption. This is particularly useful for those who drink excessive amounts of coffee or tea. Eliminating certain unnecessary over-the-counter medications may also help.
Anything that may lead to coughs can contribute to female incontinence, such as smoking. Quitting smoking and other habits that may lead to coughing (and subsequent bladder leakage) may help control incontinence.
There are certain medications that your OB/GYN may recommend to help treat female incontinence, depending on the underlying cause and which measures have already been tried by the patient. For example, pseudoephedrine may be recommended to help treat stress incontinence.
Electrical stimulation is a form of female incontinence treatment that involves the use of mild electric currents that are sent to the nerves in the pelvic muscles and lower back that are associated with urination. There are two primary types of electrical stimulation procedures: sacral nerve stimulation and tibial nerve stimulation. Sacral nerve stimulation requires sedation, whereas tibial nerve stimulation is an in-office procedure that does not require sedation. Patients who elect electrical stimulation may need several treatments over the course of several months to see desirable long-term results.
Female incontinence is a common problem after childbirth or as a result of natural aging. It is often correlated with a weakening of the internal muscles inside the vagina. One way that this may be addressed is through vaginal rejuvenation, which involves tightening the internal muscles of the vagina and the external vaginal skin.
Surgery may be an effective treatment solution when alternative, non-surgical methods of treatment fail to achieve the desired outcome. Surgeries for female incontinence have high success rates overall. Common types of surgeries for female incontinence that an OBGYN may recommend if non-surgical treatments do not work include a sling procedure and retropubic colposuspension, both of which are highly successful treatment options.
Our practice can help treat female incontinence
The good news is that there are effective treatment solutions for female incontinence, and our OBGYN practice can help you put together a treatment plan that works for you. If you have questions or concerns or if you are ready to schedule a consultation visit to put together a treatment plan, then call us today. We are more than happy to guide you through the treatment process, and we take pride in seeing our patients overcome their incontinence.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Female Incontinence in Fresno, CA.
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