Around 13 million American adults live with incontinence symptoms. If you’re one of them, it’s time to get help. Incontinence isn’t a normal part of aging, and while you might feel embarrassed about bladder control loss, incontinence is treatable.
Our board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta can provide state-of-the-art testing to identify the issue causing your incontinence and personalized treatment plans to restore normal bladder function.
Call one of our offices in Georgia today or schedule a consultation online for expert incontinence treatments.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control that leads to urine leakage.
Urinary incontinence ranges in severity, from occasional minor leaks to a considerable loss of urine on a regular basis. Others experience a constant dribble of urine because their bladder never completely empties.
There are several different types of urinary incontinence, including:
- Stress – pressure on your bladder from sneezing, coughing, or laughing forces the urine to leak
- Urge – you leak urine when you have a sudden and severe need to urinate and can’t get to the bathroom
- Overflow – you can’t empty your bladder completely, and urine escapes when your bladder is too full
- Functional – your bladder works correctly, but you aren’t aware that you need to use the bathroom in time
- Mixed – two or more types of incontinence interfere with normal urinary function
In addition to the physical effects of urinary incontinence, you might also start to avoid social events because of anxiety about your condition. This can lead to isolation and emotional and mental health concerns.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is typically a symptom of another issue. For example, women are more likely to develop incontinence than men because of the physical stress of pregnancy and childbirth on their pelvic floor muscles.
Other causes of incontinence may include:
- Neurogenic bladder
- Enlarged prostate
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Bladder infections or kidney infections
- Certain medications
Incontinence might also be due to dietary choices, anatomic abnormalities, or neurologic malfunction. For example, abnormal nerve activity in the muscles that support your bladder can trigger urge for urine leaks.
Your weight can also increase your risk of urinary incontinence by increasing the pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated?
The team at Urology of Greater Atlanta begins with a comprehensive exam and diagnostic testing to evaluate your condition and identify its cause.
After a urodynamic test to distinguish how and when your bladder releases urine and a possible cystoscopy to see how the urethra communicates with the bladder, your doctor creates an individualized treatment plan.
Possible treatments include:
- Medication calms an overactive bladder, improving its ability to hold more urine and empty itself during a single urination
- BOTOX® injections to relieve abnormal nerve signals around the bladder
- Bulking agents thicken the area around the urethra to control leakage
- A pessary is a removable device that is custom-fitted to each patient to help support the pelvic floor while preventing stress leakage
- Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
- InTone® is a voice-guided exercise program to strengthen the pelvic floor
- Biofeedback is a therapy technique that helps reestablish control of the pelvic muscles
- Uroplasty repairs an injury or defect within the walls of the urethra to reduce the urge to urinate frequently and urgently
- InterStim™ is a small device implanted under the skin of one of the upper buttocks that gently stimulates the sacral nerves to facilitate proper bladder function
- Autologous sling or synthetic sling surgery, performed with robotic assistance or open surgery, adds support to your bladder
Some treatments are geared toward men, while others are suited for the female anatomy. Ask your doctor about your treatment options.
Let Our Doctors Treat Your Urinary Incontinence
If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, contact Urology of Greater Atlanta today. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or assume that bladder control loss is an inevitable part of aging. Our team of expert urologists in Georgia can help.
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Our urologist team operates out of several offices and a surgical center to serve the needs of all Northern Georgia residents.