Incontinence

Incontinence Specialists
If incontinence is affecting daily activities, patients should not hesitate to visit East Bay Women’s Health located in Oakland and Alameda, California for treatment needs.

Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence, also known as loss of bladder control, can be an embarrassing problem for some, but it is also considered common. The severity of incontinence symptoms can range from occasional urine leakage as the result of a cough or sneeze to getting the urge to urinate that's very sudden and strong, causing the patient to not be able to reach the toilet in time.

Are there different types of incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a symptom that can be caused by everyday habits, an underlying medical condition, or other physical problems. The good news is incontinence can be treated no matter which type a patient may have. Urinary incontinence can have many different levels. The specific types include:

  • Stress incontinence – Urine will leak when pressure is placed on the bladder from coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or lifting something heavy.
  • Urge incontinence – This brings about a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine.
  • Overflow incontinence – A frequent and constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that cannot empty out completely.
  • Mixed incontinence - Experiencing more than one type of urinary incontinence.

There is also fecal incontinence, also called bowel or anal incontinence, which is the inability to control bowel movements, causing fecal matter to leak unexpectedly from the rectum.

How is incontinence treated?

Treatment for incontinence begins with a thorough and professional examination from a qualified healthcare professional. Depending on the type of incontinence, a combination of treatments might be needed. Treatments can include noninvasive techniques such as behavioral techniques, as in bladder training, pelvic floor muscle exercises, or electrical stimulation. These techniques might be combined together or with medications to calm an overactive bladder. Interventional therapies can be used, or as a last resort surgery might be recommended. Surgery can involve the use of sling procedures, bladder neck suspension, or prolapse surgery. The patient should consult with their doctor to find out the best treatment options for their specific needs.

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