Urinary incontinence, or bladder incontinence, is a health condition in which you accidentally leak urine. The leakage may be mild or uncontrollable wetting. There are two common types of urinary incontinence:
Stress incontinence: This type of urinary incontinence occurs when pressure is placed on the bladder. It may happen when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or lift a heavy object.
Urge incontinence: Better known as overactive bladder, this type of incontinence occurs when you have a strong urge to go to the bathroom, even when there’s little urine in your bladder.
Aging is one of the biggest contributors to incontinence, because pelvic floor muscles weaken as you get older. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, you’re also more likely to develop incontinence. Otherwise, a short list of the many causes includes:
Many women find that certain foods and beverages aggravate urinary incontinence. The trigger is different for each person, but may include caffeine, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, and foods high in sugar.
Fecal incontinence may range from occasional leakage of stool to loss of bowel control. Please don’t hesitate to consult your doctor at The Association for Women’s Health Care if you suffer from fecal incontinence because our urogynecologists are specialists in helping with incontinence problems.
Fecal incontinence is more common in women as they grow older, but it also has other causes, such as:
Treatment begins with a thorough examination to determine the underlying cause of your incontinence. When a treatment plan is developed for your type of incontinence, lifestyle and medical options will be considered.
Both urinary and fecal incontinence may benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises, because the muscles that control urination and bowel movements are part of this group of muscles. Fecal incontinence may improve with dietary changes, antidiarrheal medications, or laxatives.
Several types of surgical procedures may also be considered for urinary and fecal incontinence. These interventions work by improving the closure of the anal sphincter muscle, correcting prolapse, or supporting the bladder.
Not all of the Association of Women’s Health Care (AWHC) physicians participate in all of the plans listed below. Patients are advised to contact their insurance company before an appointment to verify individual physician participation. *Please note that our insurance plans may change or we may not be accepting certain types of insurance at times, so please contact us at Chicago (312) 726-3917 or Northbrook (847) 498-0690 to check if we take your insurance plan.
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