What is Urinary Incontinence?
Do you leak when you sneeze or laugh or worry that you won't reach the bathroom in time? Although many people feel uncomfortable discussing the subject, urinary incontinence is a fairly common problem. In fact, 1/4 to 1/3 of Americans suffer from incontinence, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Our Austin, TX, urologist, Dr. Lucas Jacomides of Greater Austin Urology, discusses urinary incontinence and shares information about treatment options that can help.
What are the most common types of incontinence?
Incontinence can occur if you have one of these conditions:
- Overactive Bladder (OAB): The urge to urinate can happen quickly if you have an overactive bladder. When it does, you won't have much time to find a bathroom. OAB occurs when your brain mistakenly assumes that your bladder is full and squeezes it to empty it. Although the cause of this type of incontinence isn't always known, you may be more likely to develop it if you've had bladder stones, bladder or prostate cancer, trauma to your pelvis, a stroke or other neurological condition. Regularly consuming foods and beverages that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol, caffeine or spicy foods, can also be a risk factor.
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): SUI symptoms occur due to weak pelvic floor muscles. Any movement you make, including walking, bending or coughing, can increase pressure on the bladder and trigger leaking. The condition occurs most commonly in older women, particularly those who have experienced pregnancy and birth. Obesity, a urinary tract infection or previous pelvic surgery may increase the risk of SUI.
- Overflow Incontinence: Overflow incontinence occurs when you leak urine because your bladder is too full or you produce too much urine. The condition commonly affects men who have enlarged prostate glands or have undergone prostate surgery, but may also occur if you have a urethral blockage, nerve damage or weak bladder muscles.
How can a urologist help?
Treatment for urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the problem. When you visit our Austin office, we'll perform an examination and discuss your symptoms and medical history. Based on the results of the examination and any tests that were performed, we'll recommend treatments that may help relieve your symptoms. Some patients benefit from behavioral techniques, such as bladder training that helps them retain urine for longer periods of time. Kegel exercises that strengthen pelvic floor muscles can be helpful if you suffer from SUI. Other possible options include medications, pessaries to support the bladder in women, nerve stimulation and surgery.
Worried you may have urinary incontinence?
Call our Austin, TX, urologist, Dr. Jacomides of Greater Austin Urology, at (512) 540-3937 to schedule your appointment.