If you’re one of the millions of women affected by embarrassing incontinence, take heart, there is a lot that can be done to treat this condition. Dr. Daniel B. Channell, a gynecologist at the Channell Wellness & Aesthetics in Rancho Cucamonga, California, will work with you on solutions for your incontinence that will restore your confidence and your quality of life.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is the inability to control your bladder and it can range in severity from minor leakage when you sneeze or cough to not being able to hold your bladder for any length of time.
Doctors typically classify incontinence into two categories:
Stress incontinence is usually a result of childbirth or menopause, both of which weaken the muscles that control your bladder. As a result, any physical stress or pressure, like sneezing, coughing, or lifting, can cause an accidental release of urine.
With urge incontinence (or, overactive bladder), you may experience a sudden urge to urinate as a result of an involuntary contraction of your bladder.
Some women may experience some combination of the two, which is called mixed incontinence.
What causes incontinence?
Since two of the leading causes of incontinence are childbirth and menopause, it follows that women are far more likely to suffer from this condition than men, in fact twice as likely.
During menopause and childbirth, the structural muscles that support your bladder are stretched and weakened, which can cause your bladder to drop and press up against your vagina, making it more vulnerable to outside pressures.
Outside of pregnancy and menopause, several other conditions can bring on incontinence in women, such as:
- Aging, which may cause a decrease in bladder capacity
- Neurological disorders
What is the treatment for incontinence?
Depending on the source and severity of your incontinence problem, Dr. Channell will recommend several treatment options that may include:
- Medications: That calm an overactive bladder
- Topical estrogen creams
- Surgery: In extreme cases
There is also much you can do at home to help control your incontinence, such as:
- At-home exercises: Kegel exercises, that strengthen your pelvic muscles
- Training your bladder: Double voiding or only urinating at certain times
- Avoiding caffeine: And other diuretics
- Maintaining a healthy weight
To get started on treating this often embarrassing problem, set up an appointment with Dr. Channell to get you back to an active and incontinence free lifestyle.