Loss of bladder control can be embarrassing and unhealthy. Wet spots on your pants are not only socially humiliating, they also keep you in prolonged contact with moisture and bacteria that can lead to skin conditions and infections.
About 4 out of every 10 women who are age 65 or older struggle with incontinence, which is why so many of them believe it’s an inevitable part of getting older. But it doesn’t have to be! In fact, urinary incontinence can happen at any age, and it’s never something you have to accept.
Here at Innovative Women’s HealthCare Solutions in Smyrna and Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Melinda Miller-Thrasher has the latest treatment modalities, like V Tone, ThermiVa, and Morpheus 8 V to relieve you of your embarrassing ‘leak”. Our comprehensive evaluation helps women understand causative factors for their embarrassing leaks and offers treatments that can resolve the problem.
Types of urinary incontinence
There are three main types of urinary incontinence: stress, urge, and mixed.
Anything that puts pressure or stress on your bladder can cause a leak. Stress incontinence is the most common type, and it happens when your pelvic floor muscles are weak.
If you feel a sudden urge to urinate and can’t make it to the restroom in time, this is called urge incontinence, and it occurs when your bladder is overactive. Urge incontinence happens several times throughout the day when you least expect it.
If you have a combination of stress and urge incontinence, it’s called mixed incontinence.
Although men can experience urinary incontinence, too, it’s more common in women because women face a few incontinence-inducing events in their lives that are exclusively female — pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. These events affect your urinary tract, bladder, and pelvic floor, making you more vulnerable to urinary incontinence.
Common causes of urinary incontinence
After your kidneys produce urine, your bladder stores it until you go to the restroom. When you’re ready to go, your bladder muscles contract and the sphincter muscle at the bottom relaxes to open the “gateway.” The urine travels through your urethra and into the toilet.
However, if your bladder muscles tighten or are compressed — say, when you laugh, cough, sneeze, or run — and the sphincter isn’t strong enough to clamp shut, urine flows out when you don’t want it to.
The most common causes of urinary incontinence are:
- Being overweight
- Chronic constipation
- Surgery on your reproductive organs
- Nerve damage
- Too much caffeine
- Certain medications
Your incontinence may be temporary and easily fixed with a few lifestyle changes — losing weight or cutting back on your coffee habit, for example.
However, if your incontinence stems from other issues, you may need treatment. After diagnosing the type and cause of your incontinence, Dr. Miller-Thrasher develops a treatment plan that addresses your unique symptoms.
In-office treatments for urinary incontinence
Even though urinary incontinence is common, Dr. Miller-Thrasher wants you to know that it’s not normal, and you don’t have to live with it. Here are some of the in-office treatments she offers to relieve your symptoms.
If you need to strengthen your pelvic floor to address incontinence, Dr. Miller-Thrasher may teach you how to do Kegel exercises. Think of these as a workout for your pelvic muscles. You can do them anywhere at any time throughout the day, even at your desk, and no one will know.
A revolutionary technology called V Tone essentially does your Kegel exercises for you. While fully clothed, you lay comfortably as the device delivers energy into your pelvic region and triggers thousands of muscle contractions. After a few sessions, your pelvic floor muscles relearn their proper function and your incontinence goes away.
Some cases of urge incontinence respond well to medication that relaxes the bladder so it doesn’t keep contracting and causing you to race to the restroom.
Biofeedback helps you learn to recognize the early physical signs that you need to urinate so you can take care of business before it’s too late. We place small patches with electrodes on the skin over your bladder. This allows you to see a visual cue on a monitor that correlates with a physical cue in your body. Once you learn the signs, you can learn to control the muscles and your response time.
Another way to strengthen the muscles in your bladder is through nerve stimulation. This treatment sends electrical pulses to your nerves, which increases the blood flow to reinforce the muscles fibers and help you regain control.
Before Botox became a cosmetic miracle worker, it was an important medical treatment that helped people with eye spasms. Botox works on eye twitches and wrinkles because it relaxes muscles, and it can do the same for your overactive bladder.
To find out which in-office treatment is the best one for your type of urinary incontinence, schedule an appointment at either of our two locations by calling us or booking it online today.