13:20 PM

Understanding Urinary Incontinence

If you struggle with holding your urine until you can reach a restroom, you may have urinary incontinence (UI) – the loss of bladder control. We understand how fear of an accident can keep you from enjoying activities with your family and friends. That’s why fellowship-trained urologist Maria Voznesensky, MD, with LVPG Urology, offers insights about UI to help you understand the causes and symptoms associated with it.

What causes UI?

Changes from certain diseases or medicines may contribute to UI. It may also happen at the start of an illness. Some of the other common causes include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Menopause

  • Birth defects

  • Aging

  • Urinary tract infection

  • An enlarged prostate gland or treatment of a prostate problem

  • Being overweight

  • Nerve damage from spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson disease or multiple sclerosis

  • Overactive bladder

What are the symptoms of UI?

“Urge incontinence is when you do not make it to the bathroom in time, or lose control of your bladder. This can interfere with your enjoyment of daily activities.” Voznesensky says. “However, there are some less recognized symptoms that also indicate you have UI.”

These include:

  • Not being able to urinate

  • Pain related to filling the bladder or urination without bladder infection

  • Stream of urine gets weaker and weaker with or without a feeling that you have not emptied your bladder completely

  • Abnormal urination or changes related to stroke, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis

  • Leakage of urine that starts or continues after surgery

  • Frequent bladder infections

Diagnosing UI

The symptoms of UI may look like other conditions or health problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis. Urinary incontinence diagnosis involves a complete physical examination that focuses on the urinary and nervous systems, reproductive organs and urine samples.

Treating UI

If you find out you have UI, don’t stress – your provider will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Treatment can range from behavioral therapies to diet modifications, which may be effective for some. Or may involve medication or rehabilitation therapy of the pelvic muscles. Surgery is generally not considered as a first course of action to treat urinary incontinence. Your health care provider will discuss the options that best suit your UI.

For more information about urinary incontinence, visit LVHN.org/urology. Or call 888-402-LVHN to make an appointment with one of our urologists.