What should I know about urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a common problem that’s related to varying problems with bladder control. Physicians group types of incontinence into several different categories:
- Stress incontinence is the most common type of involuntary urinary leakage and occurs with activities such as laughing, coughing, and lifting. As the condition worsens, even simple acts like walking can cause unexpected urine leakage.
- Urge incontinence is often referred to as an overactive bladder and results in you feeling the urge to urinate but not having enough time to get to the restroom.
- Mixed incontinence occurs when you have both stress and urge incontinence, which is the case for many women.
- Overflow incontinence is a less common form of urinary leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine exceeds the bladder’s capacity to hold it. This results in small amounts of leakage throughout the day and is most often related to previous bladder surgery or neurological issues.
What are the best treatments for urinary incontinence?
Dr. Antonini will design a treatment plan for your urinary leakage once he has completed a thorough examination that includes an extensive review of your history, frequency of symptoms, and other factors related to your urinary incontinence. He may order labs or diagnostic studies to help rule out or identify underlying causes for your symptoms. Once he’s reached a diagnosis, Dr. Antonini may recommend treatment with medications or simple, minimally invasive surgical techniques that help restore normal function to your bladder.
What about fecal incontinence?
Fecal incontinence results from various bowel control issues that result in unexpected leakage of solid or liquid stool, as well as gas. It’s less common than urinary incontinence and can often be treated with dietary changes, exercises for the pelvic floor muscles, or medication.
After a thorough exam and diagnostic workup, Dr. Antonini may recommend treating fecal incontinence by:
- Limiting spicy foods or stimulants such as caffeine which can interfere with normal bowel function
- Additional dietary fiber supplementation with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or fiber supplements
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises
- Medications such as Imodium® or Lomotil™
- Surgical procedures to correct the problems causing fecal incontinence