Causes of Incontinence
An estimated 15 million men and women in the United States suffer from accidental bladder leakage. Incontinence is more common in women than in men, and tends to worsen with age. Regardless of the cause, incontinence can rob you of your confidence and cause you to limit or avoid physical and social activities you used to enjoy.
In females, incontinence is frequently associated with past pregnancies or pelvic surgery. The strain of carrying and delivering a baby or undergoing pelvic surgery such as hysterectomy can weaken the muscles that close off the bladder. For men, a variety of issues may contribute to incontinence, but it is often related to treatment for prostate problems. In other cases, the bladder muscles or nerves become overactive, causing a strong urge to urinate even when there is little urine in the bladder.
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a number of conditions and diseases, including diabetes, nervous system disorders, spinal cord injuries, stroke, side effects of medications, constipation, and weakening of the muscles that support and control bladder function. Recommended treatment methods vary from patient to patient, but can include:
- Medications - Antispasmodic medications can be prescribed to reduce the urge to void the bladder.
- Lifestyle Modification - Changes in behavior can include bladder training, reducing fluid intake, and cutting back on caffeine or other agents that tend to irritate the bladder and promote incontinence.
- Exercises - Certain exercises such as "Kegel exercises" can be performed throughout the day and are used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Specialized pelvic floor muscle therapy may also be useful.
- Periurethral Injections - A small needle can be used to to inject a bulking agent to help close the urethral mucosa.
- Surgical Intervention - If other, less invasive treatment methods have failed, Dr. Hong can provide the most advanced surgical techniques available, including pelvic slings, Interstim and Botox therapy.
Because the causes of incontinence vary so greatly, diagnosing and targeting the underlying cause is critical in order for treatment to be as effective as possible. Your individual treatment options will mostly depend on the cause and nature of the incontinence that you are experiencing.
Treatment for bladder issues is not a one-size-fits-all solution. When you receive care from Dr. Hong, he will create an individualized treatment plan that will address your specific needs, and is compatible with your lifestyle.
Learn More during a Consultation
Dr. Hong has built a reputation for providing supportive, patient- focused care, and can recommend the right procedure or treatment plan for you. Contact us today to find out more about your incontinence treatment options, and to schedule an appointment at our practice.