You may think that urinary incontinence is a taboo topic, but a lack of bladder control is something a large part of the population faces. The more you know, the faster you can seek effective treatment for it.
Older women are the hardest hit group, with estimates of more than 4 in 10 women 65 years and older affected. However, it can occur at any age, and affect men as well.
Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander Bodnar at Viva Health in Clifton and Linden, New Jersey, understands both the sensitivity of the topic and the importance of medical treatment. That’s why he diagnoses and treats both frequent urination and urinary incontinence.
Here’s what he wants you to know about the causes of and treatments for your urinary incontinence.
The types of urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence comes in two types:
1. Stress incontinence
Stress incontinence is the more common type, and it’s the type that affects a large proportion of younger women. Any stress or pressure placed on the bladder can cause leakage.
The pressure can come from such seemingly inconsequential actions as coughing, laughing, sneezing, or making sudden movements. It can also come from weak pelvic floor muscles that press against the bladder and urethra, making them work harder.
2. Urge incontinence
Also known as overactive bladder, urge incontinence causes you to experience a strong, sudden urge to urinate, but you can’t make it to the toilet in time.
You can also experience frequent urination, feeling the urge to urinate more than eight times a day, though you don’t produce much once you actually go. The urge can come at any time, and may be triggered even when you hear the sound of running water.
This type is more common in men, often due to an enlarged prostate.
What’s causing your urinary incontinence?
The biggest risk factor for urinary incontinence is simply being a woman. Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men because pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause all affect both the urinary tract and surrounding muscles.
These events can also strain or weaken the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, urethra, uterus, and bowels. That means it may be hard to hold in urine until you’re ready to urinate.
In addition, a woman has a shorter urethra than a man. Any weakness or damage to this muscle may make it harder to hold in urine.
Symptoms with frequent urination and urinary incontinence
In addition to creating a bathroom nightmare, frequent urination can lead to any of the following symptoms:
- Vaginal dryness
- Chronic vulvar pain
- Painful sex
- Interstitial cystitis IC (pain during urination)
- Vulvodynia, including pain in your lower abdomen, side, or groin
- Decreased libido
- Trouble reaching orgasm
If you’re having any of these symptoms on top of the incontinence, let Dr. Bodnar know — we have treatments for those.
Treating urinary incontinence
If you’re dealing with incontinence, Dr. Bodnar has effective, nonsurgical treatments for it and related symptoms:
Acoustic wave therapy
Acoustic wave therapy is a noninvasive, nonhormonal alternative to conventional treatments that also provides longer-lasting symptom relief. It uses gentle sound waves to stimulate the natural regeneration of vaginal tissue and improve overall blood flow.
Votiva uses radiofrequency energy to:
- Decrease stress incontinence
- Improve blood flow
- Decrease pain from labial hypertrophy
- Counter low libido and self-esteem
- Strengthen vaginal muscles
- Tighten the vaginal canal
- Improve vaginal dryness
Votiva is often used in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Once you learn the technique, you can perform these exercises anywhere at any time, since no one can tell you’re doing them.
If you’re dealing with urinary incontinence and related symptoms, it’s time to come into Viva Health for a consultation with Dr. Bodnar; he has treatments that can help. Give us a call at either location, or book online with us today.