Female Incontinence

Bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence, is the loss of bladder control or involuntary loss of urine. It’s far more common than you may realize with 1 in 3 women experiencing this condition. In fact, it’s very likely that you or someone you know — your mother, sister, or best friend — is quietly coping with this potentially embarrassing problem. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that treatment options are available.

Breaking the silence about stress urinary incontinence can be difficult, but keep in mind that our urologists discuss incontinence problems with their patients on a regular basis. They chose their field of expertise, because they want to help women just like you. At Urology Specialists of Nevada, our physicians will diagnose your specific type of incontinence and talk to you about available treatment options. Don’t wait any longer—take back control of your life!

Causes

When you urinate, the muscles in your bladder wall squeeze, passing urine into your urethra. From there, sphincter muscles relax, letting the urine flow.

Women have complicated physiologies. The urinary tract exists side-by-side with the structures that support pregnancy and childbirth. At menopause, or even after having children, the urinary tract can be affected.

Incontinence occurs when the muscles and nerves that control urine flow “misfire.” This can be caused by a loss of bladder/sphincter muscle flexibility or strength. The bladder can shift position due to muscle damage. Or, obesity can put undue pressure on your abdomen and, in conjunction, urinary tract.

Types of Incontinence and Treatment Options

  • Stress Incontinence
    When movement, like a cough or sneeze, puts pressure on your bladder, urine can leak. This is a strong indicator of stress incontinence.

    Pelvic floor muscles, the vagina and ligaments combine to support the bladder. Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can all weaken this support structure, causing the bladder to drift out of place, pushing down further into the pelvis and preventing the muscles that squeeze the urethra from tightening as much as they should, leaving space for urine to seep during physical stress.

    Those squeezing muscles can also slacken the week before your menstrual period. Lower estrogen levels can cause lower muscular pressure around the urethra. The lower estrogen levels post-menopause have the same effect.

    To relieve stress incontinence, we must create a new support for your bladder. Bladder Neck Suspension, also known as a pubovaginal sling, is a synthetic mesh hammock. It’s surgically implanted to bring your bladder back into its correct position and relieve the pressure on your urethra.

  • Urge Incontinence
    We’re all familiar with the urge to urinate. However, some people experience a sudden loss of urine right after the urge, and for no apparent reason. Drinking water before sleep, taking diuretics, hearing running water or even touching water can trigger urge incontinence. Worse still, anxiety can cause this problem which, in turn, causes more anxiety.

    Urge incontinence could be caused by abnormal nerve signals which contract the bladder at inappropriate times. Hyperthyroidism or uncontrolled diabetes can cause or worsen the condition. Nervous system damage, like that brought on by injury, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, can harm bladder muscles and nerves.

    Medications, behavioral therapy, electrical stimulation and surgery can all be used to treat urge incontinence, either individually or in combinations.

  • Overactive Bladder
    Women usually head to the restroom seven times a day. Overactive bladder causes you to go more, forcing you out of your routine and causing great discomfort. Symptoms include

    • Frequency – going eight or more times per day, or more than two at night
    • Urgency – the feeling that you must go immediately
    • Urge Incontinence – a sudden, strong urge that leads to leaking or gushing
    • Nocturia – waking up to urinate

    If the wrong signals are being sent between your nerves and the bladder, muscles can squeeze without warning. We treat overactive bladder with medication or behavioral therapy, or a combination of both, so you can make plans and keep them.

  • Overflow Incontinence
    If your bladder doesn’t empty properly, there can be overflow. Though the main underlying cause is usually weak bladder muscles or a blocked urethra, there are many reasons for either condition. Diabetes and other diseases can cause nerve damage. Tumors and urinary stones can block the urethra. Overflow incontinence is rare in women; since the symptoms can manifest as another type of incontinence, it’s best to work with your doctor to discover the nature of your issue.

  • Mixed Incontinence
    Stress and urge incontinence often occur in combination. Other combinations of incontinence are possible, but this one is the most common.

    Our physicians can diagnose and treat you in a comforting, dignified manner, while using the latest techniques and technology.