Stress Incontinence Treatment in Washington, DC
Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks from the bladder because there is sudden extra pressure within the abdomen that affects the bladder. This potentially embarrassing condition differs from general urinary incontinence because it happens when the body is under immediate physical stress. This added stress is usually caused by things like coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising.
Female stress incontinence is usually treatable, although many women do not seek treatment for this condition because they may think that incontinence is a natural part of aging. Or, many people feel embarrassed and don't tell their doctors. The reality, however, is that this condition is treatable.
Causes of Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women. A woman's risk of developing this condition increases with pregnancy and age. A number of things can contribute to stress incontinence. For example, urine leakage can result from weak muscles in the pelvic floor or a weak sphincter muscle at the neck of the bladder. A problem with the way the sphincter muscle opens and closes can also result in stress incontinence.
Chronic coughing, smoking and obesity may also lead to stress incontinence. Other common causes of stress incontinence include physical changes to the body, such as:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Pelvic surgery
Diagnosing Stress Incontinence
To identify any problems that might be causing incontinence, your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible. He or she may ask you to keep a diary about when you urinate and your fluid intake for a few days. He or she may also perform a physical exam and order additional tests that may include:
- Urinalysis: Checks for possible infections or other abnormalities.
- Urinary stress test: Your doctor observes urine loss when you cough or bear down.
- Post-void residual test: He or she may also test the amount of urine in the bladder after urination.
- Cystoscopy: This is used to examine the bladder and urethra using a scope inserted into the bladder.
Treatment of Stress Incontinence
Treating urinary incontinence ranges from lifestyle changes to surgery. The right treatment for you depends on what is causing your stress incontinence and your preferences for treatment. The most common treatments for stress incontinence include:
- Lifestyle management: Many healthy lifestyle changes, such as treating chronic choughs, losing excess weight, and quitting smoking can improve symptoms and reduce your risk of stress incontinence.
- Pelvic floor physical therapy: Doing Kegel exercises strengthens the pelvic floor muscles as well as the urinary sphincter.
- Electrical stimulation: Using an electrical stimulator can help women who aren't able to effectively exercise their pelvic floor muscles.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications that reduce bladder contractions or other drugs designed to treat overactive bladder.
- Surgery: This includes injectable therapy (collagen), tension-free vaginal tape surgery and other surgeries.
Request more information about stress incontinence treatment today. Call (703) 327-2434 or contact Dr. Andrew Heyman online.
Virginia Center for Health & Wellness
Address39070 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, VA 20105
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm