Unexpected leaks of urine can be both inconvenient and embarrassing. The good news is that you don’t have to live with this issue forever.
At Bergen Aesthetics, Heripsime Ohanian, PhD, MD, FACOG, specializes in several urogynecology services to improve the strength of your pelvic floor. Strong pelvic muscles can prevent embarrassing urine leaks and lower your risk for more serious complications, including pelvic floor prolapse.
Why you have urinary incontinence
There are several types of urinary incontinence that affect both men and women. One of the most common types is stress incontinence, which occurs when the muscles and other soft tissues in your pelvic floor become weak.
Stress incontinence often happens with age but may also be the result of:
- Weight challenges
If the soft tissues in your pelvic floor can’t sufficiently support your bladder, you may notice that you leak some amount of urine when you put pressure on your bladder. For many women, laughing, coughing, and sneezing exert just enough pressure for urine to leak out.
In more serious cases of urinary incontinence, you may not be able to control the flow of urine at all.
Diagnosing urinary incontinence
Because stress incontinence is only one type of urinary incontinence, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Bergen Aesthetics if you leak urine unexpectedly.
We offer on-site diagnostic testing services, including urinalysis, urodynamic testing, and comprehensive physical exams, to identify the underlying cause of your incontinence issues.
Dr. Ohanian has experience diagnosing and treating different types of incontinence, including stress incontinence and:
Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is a condition that causes a sudden, urgent need to urinate. This can cause urine leaks if you’re not able to make it to the bathroom in time.
Mixed incontinence occurs when you have symptoms of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. With this condition, you may experience unexpected urine leaks and a persistent need to urinate.
Overflow incontinence causes urine leaks because your body makes more urine that your bladder can hold. This condition can occur in women but is more common in men with an enlarged prostate.
Once we understand the cause of your incontinence, we tailor a treatment plan to your needs.
Pelvic floor exercises for urinary incontinence
The initial treatment for mild to moderate stress incontinence may include pelvic floor exercises. These exercises target the muscles in your pelvic floor that you tighten to stop the flow of urine.
Regularly engaging in these exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor to better support your bladder and stop urine leaks.
Other treatments for urinary incontinence
The MonaLisa Touch treatment is effective in treating urinary incontinence. This procedure is minimally invasive, and Dr. Ohanian can perform it in the comfort of her clinic. It stimulates blood flow to the affected areas, bringing healing and rejuvenation to the pelvic floor muscles, vaginal walls, and urethra. The increased blood flow and better tissue tone reduce pain and lead to better urinary function. Many women report an immediate improvement in their symptoms.
In addition to pelvic exercises, you may need to follow a schedule for using the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day. Dr. Ohanian also suggests that you limit your use of caffeine, which can irritate your bladder and cause urge incontinence issues.
If you experience urine leaks because of overactive bladder, you may need to take medications that block chemical signals from your brain or help relax bladder muscles.
If you have severe urinary incontinence issues that aren’t treatable with lifestyle changes, we can determine if you’re a candidate for electrical stimulation or surgery.
Surgery may also be a treatment option if you have trouble controlling your urine flow or if you develop pelvic floor prolapse, a condition where your bladder and other pelvic organs fall down into the vaginal canal.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for urinary incontinence, call Bergen Aesthetics or book an appointment online today.