Unintentional leaking or loss of urine can happen to anyone — and it does, to the tune of about 13 million Americans. But women tend to suffer from the condition more than men, especially after childbirth and menopause. Although it’s common, urinary incontinence isn’t inevitable, and it’s certainly treatable.
Dr. Kent G. Miller in Gainesville, Georgia, helps women throughout Northeast Georgia and the Greater Atlanta area who are dealing with the impact of urinary incontinence. Here’s what you need to know.
What causes incontinence?
Whether you lose a few drops of urine when you’re running and jumping, or you just can’t seem to get to the restroom on time, there are several common causes for urinary leakage.
In order to keep urine in and let it out in a controlled manner, your body calls into action a network of muscles, nerves, and organs. Normally, this happens without giving it any thought at all, but when one or more of those body parts malfunctions, Dr. Miller may be able to assist you in regaining the control you once had.
Temporary incontinence may occur due to a one-time situation, such as:
- Urinary tract infection
- Limited mobility
- Some medications
Chronic incontinence is usually due to long-term issues, like:
- Weak muscles
- Nerve damage
- Birth defects
Urinary incontinence is highly treatable, but the approach Dr. Miller takes depends on what’s causing your issue and what type you have.
Types of urinary incontinence
Your leakage may range from a few barely noticeable drops to full release. Here are the various types of urinary incontinence you might be dealing with.
If you lose a small amount of urine when you’re involved in physical activity like exercising or running, or when you cough or sneeze, it’s called stress incontinence because it occurs when there’s stress on your bladder. This is the most common type in women whose anatomy has undergone physical changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
If you lose a larger amount of urine suddenly or in your sleep, you may have urge incontinence. This type is characterized by its lack of warning and sudden onset. You might lose control upon hearing or touching running water, after drinking just a small amount of liquid, or even if you’re under emotional stress. Bladder muscle spasms and nerve damage are known causes of urge incontinence.
When your nerves misfire and send signals to your bladder for no reason, your bladder responds as if it’s full and ready to eliminate — it contracts, and you look for a restroom. If this is happening to you more than seven times a day or throughout the night, you may have overactive bladder.
Other types of incontinence
In addition to the above common conditions, your incontinence may be:
- Functional, a result of a psychological or physical disorder
- Mixed, a combination of urge and stress incontinence
- Overflow, a result of an overfilled or inadequately emptied bladder
Dr. Miller takes into account all of your symptoms and health history and runs various tests before reaching a diagnosis. He may conduct a urinalysis, run a stress test, or use ultrasound, cystoscopy, or urodynamics to evaluate the health and function of your bladder, urethra, and nerves.
Treating urinary incontinence
The treatment plan Dr. Miller develops for you depends on your symptoms and test results. Some possibilities include:
- Kegel exercises, a way to retrain and strengthen your pelvic muscles
- Medications (especially for overactive bladder)
- Biofeedback to help you become more aware of your body’s functions
Dr. Miller also offers a vaginal restoration procedure that improves multiple symptoms of vaginal atrophy, including urinary incontinence. SeleneTouch® is a painless, noninvasive laser therapy that triggers your body’s natural production of collagen, encourages the development of new blood vessels, thickens your mucosa, and increases vaginal moisture.
Many women who have noticed lax vaginal tissues, a dry vagina that tears during intercourse, or have developed urinary incontinence due to aging or hormonal changes are looking to SeleneTouch to ease their symptoms and restore their sexual and urinary health.
If you’re tired of leaking unexpectedly, chances are we can help you overcome your urinary incontinence. Give us a call at our Gainesville office at 770-532-4477 today to get started on a treatment that’s right for you. You can also send a message to Dr. Miller and the team here on our website.