Over 50% of women over 50, and 24% of women 18-44, experience some degree of leaking. Sadly, most women don’t mention this to their gynecologist. Despite this, most women will admit that any consistent leaking bothers them.
There are many triggers. Women with ‘stress incontinence’, which occurs from urethral hypermobility, first notice that jumping on the trampoline, and exercising, become big triggers with time. As time moves on, sneezing, coughing, and even laughing, will cause leaking.
Women with ‘urge incontinence’, which comes from detrusor instability, will begin to notice that it’s difficult to get to the bathroom upon awakening, but with time develop difficulty sleeping thru the nite, urinating more frequently than they should, or developing urgency, the inability to hold their urine.
Certainly, neurogenic bladder and urinary retention should not be overlooked, but these are rare conditions. For stress incontinence, Kegel exercises and bladder retraining can help, but when the urethra angle has dropped, physical correction is usually needed. These options can include over the counter vaginal inserts, pessaries, and laser vaginal surgery such as Core Intima. Definitive therapy with a surgery known as a vaginal sling will provide excellent results, with an easy recovery, with some limitations.
For urge incontinence, dietary changes and bladder retraining can be helpful. For more serious symptoms medications are usually very effective. For more resistant cases, implantable pacemakers used for the bladder, or Botox injections, can provide excellent relief.
There is no reason for women to avoid laughing, or wear dark clothing or diapers, secondary to their leakage and being too embarrassed to confront the problem with their gynecologist. At Special Care for Women, Dr, Braden Richmond can easily assess your leakage issues, and, using questionnaires, ultrasound, and cystoscopy, if necessary, can find an answer that should essentially keep women dry, and without leakage. Make your appointment today!