We get it: Urinary incontinence can be very embarrassing. Do you leak urine when you sneeze or cough? Embarrassing. Do you wake up in the morning with urine-dampened panties? Embarrassing.
Do you sometimes have to beg store clerks to let you use their employees-only bathrooms because you’re afraid you’re going to wet your pants? Yep, that can be embarrassing.
Incontinence can be all kinds of embarrassing. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. After all, incontinence isn’t a character flaw, and it’s certainly not a choice. Rather, it’s a health condition with medical causes.
And fortunately, in addition to being a medical problem, it also has medical solutions.
Here at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Susan Crockett, MD, and her all-female team of skilled providers understand how embarrassing incontinence can be. That’s why we specialize in diagnosing and treating this condition.
Don’t feel embarrassed — or ashamed — any longer. Read on to find out how you can reduce or eliminate your incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is a very common problem in women. In fact, by the age of 65, more than 40% of women experience some type of urinary incontinence.
Incontinence has a variety of causes, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, pelvic surgeries, and obesity.
The two primary types of incontinence are stress incontinence, which is when pressure or stress on your bladder (from coughing, sneezing, laughing, or activity) cause you to leak urine, and urge incontinence, which is when you have frequent urges to urinate even when your bladder isn’t especially full.
Dr. Crockett and her team can help relieve those embarrassing episodes of incontinence with a range of treatment options that include:
For some women, lifestyle changes such as weight loss or cutting back on liquids can help reduce incontinence.
Using the process of bladder training, you can teach your bladder to hold more urine and send fewer messages to you that it’s time to go even when it’s not. It can be especially helpful for urge incontinence.
Muscle strengthening exercises known as Kegels or pelvic floor exercises can help with stress incontinence by building up the muscles that help you hold in urine when there is pressure on your bladder.
In some cases, prescription medication can help with incontinence. Some of the medications used to treat incontinence include estrogen as well as drugs that help with muscle spasms, bladder contractions, or tight muscles.
Pessaries are medical devices made of silicone. When you insert them into your vagina, they help support weak muscles and any prolapsed pelvic organs you may have.
When conservative approaches don’t do enough to help you with your incontinence, Dr. Crockett may advise surgery. The type of surgery she recommends depends on what’s causing your incontinence. Whenever possible, Dr. Crockett performs minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Dr. Crockett and our team at Virtuosa GYN want to help resolve or reduce your incontinence. Schedule an evaluation by contacting us at our San Antonio, Texas, office.