A hearty laugh is good medicine and sparks a range of health benefits in your brain and body. It can also lead to a moment of embarrassment, if you are one of thousands of women who experience incontinence at such times. Urinary incontinence is not an uncommon occurrence. Some women release a little urine when they cough, laugh or sneeze. Some have a problem when they participate in certain sports, like jogging. Others have a problem holding their urine when in route to the bathroom.
Under most circumstances, minor urinary incontinence is not a big problem. Sometimes it is very temporary. Urinary tract infections, certain medicines or even constipation can cause temporary issues. When urinary incontinence becomes an ongoing issue, it needs to be addressed. Sometimes, surgery is the answer.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
When your sneeze, cough, laugh or jog, pressure is put on your bladder. This pressure can cause a sudden release of urine. This type of urinary incontinence is called stress incontinence and it is the most common problem women have with controlling the bladder.
The other type of urinary incontinence is urge incontinence. When you feel the need to urinate and cannot hold it long enough to reach the bathroom, you are experiencing this second type of incontinence. This doesn’t only happen with a full bladder. You can have a small amount of urine in your bladder and still leak. You may not have any warning that it is going to happen. It can also happen when you drink water or hear running water. Some women who have an overactive bladder may also experience this type of leakage, although not everyone does.
Symptoms Indicating Surgery
There are a variety of more conservative treatments for stress incontinence and overactive bladder problems. Among those remedies are pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), vaginal devices, electrical stimulation or medicine. In many cases, women have found these treatments for urinary incontinence to be enough; this is not always the case.
For women who experience ongoing stress incontinence episodes and want a permanent solution, surgery may be the answer. There are more risks for complications with surgery, and it is more invasive than conservative measures, but for those suffering with severe incontinence, it can provide much-needed relief.
When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they do not hold the bladder neck and urethra in the proper positions. When the bladder neck and urethra drop, surgery can lift them back into position if more conservative methods do not work. Surgery is not recommended for some women, particularly those who plan to have children.
What type of surgery will correct your urinary incontinence will depend on your health, your preferences and what your doctor recommends. It is also necessary to understand that if you have mixed incontinence, that is, both stress and urge incontinence, the surgery is only going to help the type of incontinence it is designed to alleviate.
Your doctor will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of surgery you may benefit from and the risks involved with the surgery. Be sure to ask questions and have procedures explained thoroughly, so you understand your options.
At Cypress Women’s Center, we support women in achieving and maintaining their best health. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about urinary incontinence and its treatment. Give us a call and make an appointment today. We are always here to help you feel better.