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Incontinence in Women: Treatment Options

Incontinence in women

Incontinence In Women - Diagnosis

Doctors may suggest a voiding diary or journal in which urination frequency, urgency, amount and degree of incontinence are recorded. Additionally, doctors may analyze the ability of the bladder to hold and release fluid, and look for problems in fluid movement through the urinary tract. The doctor may get a closer look at the urinary tract through the use of a cystoscopy, in which a tiny camera is used to view the urinary bladder.


Behavioral Treatments of Incontinence In Women

The physician may discuss a behavioral plan that may include setting particular times to use the restroom, and gradually shifting from shorter intervals in between restroom visits to longer intervals. The bladder may be able to “learn” when to urinate, depending on the type of incontinence.

Incontinence In Women - Other Treatments

Kegel exercises may also be recommended to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles surrounding the urethra. With these exercises, many patients see a great deal of relief of symptoms. If these do not help, the doctor may suggest an operation of a female sling to control severe stress urinary incontinence. Female slings are a recommended treatment for severe stress urinary incontinence (also known as SUI), and are not used to treat urge urinary incontinence.

The female sling is a small piece of synthetic or natural material that is placed underneath the urethra to give it structure and support. These can offer compression and/or repositioning of the urethra. This way, the urethra does not move away from the pubic bone during physical activities, preventing urine leakage. Mid-urethral slings can be implanted through the vagina and require only very small incisions. They are fashioned out of durable, inert material.

Slings can be implanted in a minimally invasive procedure. Slings are an excellent choice for women who have not had success with pelvic floor exercises and are frustrated by stress urinary incontinence. Side effects are rare and may include bladder injury. However, majority of women have no side effects other than some temporary discomfort. As many as 95% of patients find significant relief from their symptoms after the sling procedure.