You are not alone. People often feel embarrassed and wonder if their behaviors or medications contributed to their condition. You are not responsible for causing the overactive bladder symptoms, such as urgency and frequency incontinence.
Urinary incontinence issues can interfere with work, social life, exercise and sleep. You may need to go to the bathroom many times during the day or night. Fortunately, there is help. With proper treatment, you can take control of urinary incontinence and live a healthy, active life without dealing with the upsetting symptoms.
Over 33 million people in the United States struggle with overactive bladder, having symptoms of urgency and frequency, both with and without the unstoppable urge to urinate. About 30% of older men and 40% of older women have changed their lifestyle to cope with the symptoms. We can help you return to the activities you enjoy.
There are several types of urinary incontinence, including:
- Stress incontinence (SUI) occurs when you leak urine simply from putting pressure on your bladder doing everyday activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing.
- Urge-incontinence (overactive bladder) causes the feeling that you need to urinate immediately, even when your bladder may not be full. Overactive bladder could also lead to urinary leakage.
- Overflow incontinence develops when you have a blockage preventing urine from normally flowing from your bladder. Since you do not feel the need to empty your bladder, oftentimes the bladder becomes overfilled and leaks.
- Urinary frequency is the need to urinate numerous times throughout the day and night, more often than is usual for you.
- Functional incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence resulting from a physical or emotional issue which causes the inability to get to the bathroom in time.
Causes of urinary incontinence:
- Nerve damage
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Lifestyle factors: smoking, consuming certain foods like coffee or acidic foods that irritate your bladder, high impact exercises, certain medical conditions and medicines.
Our physicians will work with you to find the treatment that works best for you. With more than 70 board certified urologists experienced in treating overactive bladder, we can offer many different treatment options. Usually, the first plan of action is to make lifestyle changes to treat these symptoms.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Avoid foods that irritate your bladder.
- Include Kegel exercises in your daily routine.
- Schedule regular bathroom breaks.
If your urinary incontinence symptoms don’t improve with lifestyle changes, your doctor would likely prescribe a 4-week course of medication, and then schedule a follow-up evaluation. Several types of medications can be used to help calm overactive bladder muscles. If the first prescription didn’t help, your doctor will prescribe an alternative from a different class of medications for four weeks. Then an evaluation will be done.
When the symptoms are more severe or when conservative measures are not helping, then we can offer our third line of advanced therapy which includes Botox® injections, sacral nerve neuromodulation (SNM) or percutaneous tibial neuromodulation (PTNS). For stress incontinence, we perform pubovaginal sling surgery, which is a very successful ambulatory procedure solution.
Most urinary incontinence can be managed, allowing you return to your active lifestyle.
Call Advanced Urology Centers of New York today to schedule an appointment with an experienced urologist. We have convenient offices in the Bronx, Manhattan, Nassau, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties.