Talking To Your OB/GYN About Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a common issue that significantly impacts a person's emotional, social, and physical life. It is the involuntary loss of urine that occurs with activities such as coughing, laughing, or sneezing. While urinary incontinence is a challenging topic to discuss, it is vital to talk to your OB/GYN to get the right diagnosis and treatment. Here's what you need to know and how to have that talk.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that causes urinary leakage or loss of bladder control. It is a common condition that affects women more than men due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges from occasional leaks when you sneeze to a continuous flow of urine requiring incontinence briefs.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
There are several factors that contribute to urinary incontinence, including:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Neurological problems
- Family history of incontinence
Additionally, certain medications, such as doctor-prescribed diuretics, can contribute to urinary incontinence.
Is Urinary Incontinence Permanent?
Thankfully, urinary incontinence is a treatable condition, and in most cases, it is not permanent. However, it is essential to talk to your OB/GYN to find out the best treatment option for you.
What Are Some Ways to Treat Urinary Incontinence?
The treatment of urinary incontinence depends on the type and severity of the incontinence. Some ways to treat UI include:
- Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control.
- Bladder training. This technique teaches you how to train your bladder to hold urine for longer periods, helping to reduce urinary leakage.
- Medications. Your OB/GYN may prescribe medications to reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence.
- Pelvic floor stimulation. This treatment uses electrical pulses to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles, helping to strengthen them and improve bladder control.
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can help you learn exercises targeting pelvic floor muscles to improve bladder control through internal manipulation.
- Surgery. In severe cases, surgery might be recommended to repair the muscles that control bladder function. The surgery involves the insertion of a special sling that helps support the bladder.
Having an open, honest conversation with your OB/GYN about urinary incontinence can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment. Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that affects many people, and it is not something to be ashamed of. Your OB/GYN can offer you a range of treatments to suit your situation.