Stress Incontinence

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Stress Incontinence Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Stress Incontinence is a condition where there is a leakage of urine during physical activities or when pressure is exerted on the bladder, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising. It commonly affects women and can be caused by factors like weak pelvic floor muscles, hormonal changes, or childbirth.

Symptoms

  • Leaking urine during these activities.
  • Feeling like you can’t control it.

Diagnostic Tests

  • A doctor may ask about your symptoms and medical history.
  • A “cough test” involves coughing while the doctor watches for urine leakage.
  • Sometimes, further tests like a urine sample or imaging studies are done to rule out other issues.

Treatments

Fortunately, there are several treatments available for stress incontinence that can help improve the condition. Here are a few simple explanations of common treatments:

  • Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises): These are exercises that involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that support the bladder. Regularly performing these exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can reduce or even eliminate urine leakage. Learn more about Kegel Exercises.
  • Bladder training: This involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits to help train the bladder to hold urine for longer periods. By following a schedule and resisting the urge to urinate immediately, the bladder can gradually increase its capacity. Download more information about Bladder Training.
  • Lifestyle changes: Simple adjustments in daily habits can often make a big difference. These may include managing fluid intake, avoiding caffeine and acidic foods that can irritate the bladder, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.
  • Vaginal devices: Some devices, such as a pessary, can be inserted into the vagina to support the bladder and reduce stress incontinence symptoms. These devices are fitted by a healthcare professional and should be regularly checked.
  • Medications: In certain cases, your doctor may prescribe medications that help tighten the muscles around the urethra or reduce bladder contractions. These medications can help control urine leakage, but they may have side effects, so it’s important to discuss potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: If other treatments are ineffective, there are minimally invasive procedures that can be done to treat stress incontinence. For example, periurethral bulking agents are substances that are used to treat urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary leakage of urine. These agents are injected into the tissues around the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.  The purpose of periurethral bulking agents is to increase the thickness of the tissues around the urethra, providing support and helping to close the urethral opening more effectively. This can help reduce or even eliminate the leakage of urine.  Another option is a sling procedure, sometimes referred to by patients as a “bladder tack”.  This involves placing a supportive mesh tape under the urethra to provide additional support and prevent urine leakage during physical activities.
  • Surgery: In severe cases or when other treatments don’t work, surgery may be recommended. Surgical options can include procedures that lift and support the bladder or urethra to improve urinary control.

It’s important to remember that the best treatment for stress incontinence can vary depending on individual circumstances. Consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in this area can help determine the most suitable treatment options for you. Call our office to schedule an appointment at (678) 321-7227.

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