Many women think that leaking urine is just a part of normal aging, or a price they pay for giving birth, but that’s not the case. When you start packing extra clothing just in case, start buying protection pads, or start memorizing where every bathroom is in buildings that you frequent, it’s time to talk with your doctor about solutions for urinary incontinence.
There are many options—some very simple—that help women gain control and live worry-free lives. Now that Prowers Medical Center has a full-time gynecologist on staff, women in the community are able to receive all types of treatments for urinary incontinence and other gynecological conditions including pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
“You don’t have to live with this challenging condition. We now have the ability to diagnose and treat urinary incontinence here at Prowers Medical Center,” said Dr. Steven Foley, OB/GYN.
There are three different types of urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence can be mild—as in a few, infrequent dribbles when you cough or sneeze—to more severe—where you feel a sudden urge and can’t stop urine from escaping before you reach the bathroom.
The first, stress incontinence, which is brought on by a cough, sneeze, orgasm or heavy lifting, is common and is caused by a weakness surrounding the urethra. Childbirth adds to stress incontinence, as does simple aging.
“We differentiate this type of leaking from other types by completing urodynamic testing. Once we determine that it is indeed stress incontinence, then we review treatment options, and sometimes recommend surgery. The surgery is an outpatient surgery that has very little recovery time, and is very successful,” Dr. Steven Foley said.
The second type of leaking is called urge incontinence, which makes it hard to make it to the bathroom in time. Women might experience leaking with very little warning, or they might leak several times a night, affecting their ability to get a good night’s sleep.
“The detrusor muscle in the bladder, for some unexplained reason, develops a mind of its own, so women end up leaking without warning. We can treat urge incontinence with medication, or with an InterStim™ device,” Dr. Steven Foley said.
The InterStim™ neurostimulator device is similar to a small pacemaker that’s placed near the sacral nerve. The device stimulates the nerve with mild electrical pulses, improving continence.
The third type of leaking is called overflow incontinence, and it’s the least common. The bladder ceases to work properly, and never empties fully. Since there is always urine in the bladder, even just a little added creates an urge to go.
“Women don’t like to talk about leaking, but there is no need to be embarrassed. One woman I treated in the past didn’t attend her mother’s funeral because she was afraid she’d lose control over her bladder. When it interferes with your life, it’s time to act,” he said.
The good news is that most cases of incontinence can be cured or improved. Dr. Steven Foley has been performing incontinence surgeries for both the bladder and bowel for over 20 years.
“When done by an experienced doctor, the risks of surgery are low. Women are able to get back to their normal lives in a few days and it works well for years,” Foley says.
Don’t let leaking interrupt your life and cause undo worry. Talk with your doctor today, and take the next step towards relief. To reach Dr. Steven Foley, call Prowers Medical Center Clinic at (719) 336-6767.