Incontinence and Overactive Bladder
Urinary incontinence — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time. Risks factors for incontinence include: age, infection, past surgery (i.e. hysterectomy or prostatectomy), neurologic conditions, obesity, certain medications, caffeine, and smoking. Your doctor may need to perform tests to better understand your incontinence, such as a urinalysis, ultrasound, cystoscopy or urodynamics. Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence, the severity of your problem and the underlying cause. Your doctor will recommend the approaches best suited to your condition. Often a combination of treatments is used. Treatment options for urinary incontinence range from more conservative approaches, including behavioral techniques and physical therapy to more aggressive options, such as surgery or medications.
Bladder overactivity is characterized by frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom to urinate. This may occur during the day and/or at night. Treatment for overactive bladder includes reduced fluid intake, avoidance of caffeine, medications or even implantation of a device that regulates the bladder in extreme cases.
Vaginal prolapse (also called pelvic organ prolapse) is what happens when organs inside the pelvis (the bladder, rectum or small intestine) bulge into the vagina. This condition is due to weakened muscles or ligaments that can occur from a number of causes, including childbirth, previous surgeries, and obesity. Prolapse may be associated with urinary or bowel dysfunction or incontinence. Treatment options include physical therapy, placement of devices into the vagina to hold it in position (called pessaries), and surgery.