Urinary incontinence is a condition women experience when they are unable to control voiding urine. It can be embarrassing and debilitating, and is often the result of pelvic floor damage. University of Michigan Health System provides comprehensive surgical and non-surgical services for women suffering from urinary incontinence.
There are different types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence – when coughing, laughing, sneezing, jumping, lifting or exercising increases the pressure in your abdomen enough that it pushes urine past the urethra
- Urge incontinence (overactive bladder) – not able to wait until it is convenient to empty your bladder
- Overflow – a rare condition in which small amounts of urine leaks frequently because the bladder is constantly full
- Mixed incontinence – a combination of stress and urge incontinence
Many tests are available to help diagnose the different forms of urinary incontinence, with the most common being a pelvic exam. A post-void residual test determines how much urine is left behind after you urinate. A urinalysis determines if you’ve had an infection. And cystometry (urodynamics) shows how your bladder reacts when filled with sterile water.
Treatment options depend on type of incontinence and severity. They can be as simple as decreasing intake of fluids or certain types of fluids. You may learn how to train your bladder to improve symptoms. You can do pelvic muscle rehabilitation, also known as Kegel exercises. You may be prescribed one of several medications. There are also vaginal surgeries and devices for stress incontinence symptoms.