One out of every four women over the age of 18 has at least a little bit of trouble with urinary incontinence.
According to medical research, it is estimated that one out of every four women over the age of 18 has at least a little bit of trouble with urinary incontinence. A topic that many women want to hide, no one really wants to discuss how often they might accidentally let a few drops or even a stream break free. For some women, a leak here or there may be caused by sneezing, coughing or other “stress” factors. For others, there can be an entire spectrum of health issues, medication side effects and structural problems that can lead to this very embarrassing issue. But take heart—you are not alone and no matter if you trickle, dribble, or drip, there is hope and treatment for urinary incontinence.
Thankfully most cases of urinary incontinence can be treated easily once a cause is determined. Incontinence isn’t a disease (even though it may feel like one), but a symptom that is caused by another problem. Despite what you may have thought, urinary struggles are not a normal part of aging and you don’t have to allow its difficulties to rule your life. Some of the most common causes of urine incontinence can include:
- Hormonal changes or drops in estrogen
- Urinary tract infection
- Structural and hormonal changes during pregnancy and after childbirth
- Certain medications or stimulants like caffeine
- Weakened pelvic floor or bladder muscles
Treatment for urinary incontinence is tailored to you
When you seek treatment, your physician will probably take a detailed history—so be prepared to answer their questions honestly. Make sure to bring a list of any and all medications you may be taking—even occasional or over the counter ones. Don’t forget to include any vitamins or herbal supplements. It may be a good idea to write down any questions you may have, and bring a friend along so that you have a second set of ears—it’s easy to forget everything the doctor says during a visit.
Your doctor will probably start by collecting a urine sample, so do your best to hold it, or tell the secretary if you need to urinate so your specimen can be collected. Your doctor may also want to perform other tests including blood work, ultrasounds of your bladder and pelvic structures, and later, maybe even look into your urinary tract with a small camera or do X-rays.
No matter what, remember that finding a cause is the key to treating your urinary incontinence symptoms. There are a wide range of treatment options, and Dr. Hessel will work with you every step of the way to develop a plan that fits your individual case. From conservative bladder training and breathing techniques, to medications and even surgery if necessary, there really is something for everyone. Make your appointment with Dr.Hessel at your earliest convenience so that you can get back to what you love, and stop worrying about your leaks.