You’ve probably seen the ads – “My bladder leakage was making it hard for me to spend time with my granddaughter.” While those actors seem to acknowledge and tackle their problems, many women over 50 have incontinence issues and most don’t get treatment. Urinary incontinence stems from the inability to hold urine in the bladder. Often, it is due to losing control over the muscles in the bladder. This can lead to minor leaks of urine. There are three main types of incontinence. Stress incontinence results from heavy exertion, such as coughing, laughing, or exercising. Urge incontinence stems from having a sudden, intense need to urinate. Common symptoms include frequently waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Overflow incontinence is a consequence from the bladder unable to fully empty, leading to frequent dribbling.
In the National Poll on Healthy Aging, authors report that 43% of women ages 50-64 years old and 51% of women 65+ suffered from bladder issues. However, about 2/3rds of those women have yet to talk to their doctors about their symptoms. There are many treatment options, including Botox and pacemakers for stress incontinence. Less invasive alternatives include diet control, specifically refraining from foods that can irritate the bladder. Pelvic floor therapy is also highly recommended.
While embarrassing, urinary incontinence is a common issue, especially for women who have hit menopause, and is treatable. You don’t have to “grin and bear it.” If you are having incontinence problems, please make an appointment with us at the El Camino Women’s Medical Group to discuss treatment options. We use many different modalities to help with urinary incontinence, such as disposable pessaries, rubber pessaries, vaginal estrogen, and a CO2 laser for mild cases that have high rates of success.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecgologic Surgery. Dr. Erika Balassiano is also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.
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