According to OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, urinary incontinence is problematic for women, especially following pregnancy and childbirth. Surgery can typically eliminate urinary incontinence, but less invasive treatment options are also available that you should consider before opting for surgery.
Urinary incontinence affects about half of all women at some point in their life. Risk factors of urinary incontinence include age, childbirth and weakness in the pelvic floor muscle.
Although there are several different types of urinary incontinence, the most common type is stress incontinence, which occurs when pressure or stress is placed on the bladder, such as when a woman coughs, sneezes, lifts something heavy or exercises.
During a consultation, your OB-GYN Montgomery County will discuss your medical history and symptoms with you. She will likely also perform a physical exam to check the strength and tone of your pelvic floor muscles and assess the support of your pelvic organs, particularly those of the bladder and urethra.
A urinalysis is typically part of the initial assessment as well. This test analyzes a urine sample to search for a medical condition that could be causing your urinary incontinence. For example, a urinary tract infection can often trigger loss of bladder control. If an underlying problem is discovered, treating that condition may eliminate urinary incontinence.
To further assess your situation, your OB-GYN Montgomery County may ask that you keep a diary that tracks your bladder habits and symptoms for a few days. In this log, you record how often you urinate, the number of leaks you have, and the amount and types of fluid you drink. Based on that, your OB-GYN may recommend you try timed voids or change the type or amount of fluid you drink.
If your test results indicate that stress incontinence is your problem, the first step in therapy may include exercises to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, a device called a pessary may also be useful when placed in the vagina to support the bladder and bladder neck.
Injectable bulking agents may also be used to treat stress incontinence by injecting them into the tissue surrounding the urethra. They help keep the urethra closed and lessen the occurrence of urine leaks.
If symptoms persist after conservative therapy, the next step would be to consider surgical treatment, which offers high cure rates for urinary incontinence – but is invasive. Several surgical approaches are available.
Before you consider surgery, make an appointment to see your OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim to have your condition thoroughly evaluated. Based on that evaluation, we can make a treatment plan that fits your needs.