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  • Writer's pictureLorna Fedelem, MD

Incontinence



Incontinence. Nobody wants to admit it, but it happens. There is a good chance that at some point, once over the age of 20, more commonly women (62%), but also men (15%), will experience some form of incontinence.


What is incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is leaking of urine that you can’t control. Many Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. We don’t know for sure exactly how many because people do not tell anyone about their symptoms. They may be embarrassed, or they may think nothing can be done, so they suffer in silence.


Urinary incontinence is not just a medical problem. It can affect emotional, psychological, and social life. Many people who have urinary incontinence are afraid to do normal daily activities because they don’t want to be too far from the bathroom. Urinary incontinence can keep people from enjoying life.


Many people think urinary incontinence is just part of getting older. That’s not always the case! The good news is that it can be managed and/or treated. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor to find out what treatment is best for you.


What are the types of urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is not a disease. It is a symptom of many conditions. Causes may differ for men and women. These are the three most common types of urinary incontinence:


1. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

With SUI, weak pelvic muscles let urine escape. It is the most common type of urinary incontinence, more so for women, and less for men.


SUI happens when the pelvic floor muscles have stretched and weakened. Physical activity puts pressure on the bladder, and then the bladder leaks. Leaking may happen with exercise, walking, bending, lifting, or even sneezing and coughing. It can be a few drops of urine to a tablespoon or more.


There are no FDA-approved medications to treat SUI, but there are things you can do to improve your symptoms. Remedies to manage SUI include strengthening the pelvic floor, lifestyle changes, vaginal and urethral devices, pads, and even surgery.


2. Urge Incontinence or Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder affects more than 30% of men and 40% of women in the U.S. It affects people’s lives and may restrict people from certain activities. People may fear they will suddenly have the urge to urinate when they aren’t near a bathroom. Some may not even be able to get a good night’s sleep.


The main symptom of OAB is the sudden urge to urinate. You can’t control or ignore this “gotta go” feeling. Another symptom is having to urinate many times during the day and night. OAB is more likely in men with prostate problems and in women after menopause. Treatments can include lifestyle changes, drugs that relax the bladder muscle, or surgery.


3. Mixed incontinence

Many people have both SUI and OAB and this is known as mixed incontinence.

The good news is that there are ways to treat incontinence, and nobody must suffer in silence. I have an Emsella chair in my office and have used this with amazing success for over two years. It is a revolutionary, non-invasive treatment that strengthens the pelvic floor by using electromagnetic energy. The chair can stimulate 12,000 pelvic floor contractions (Kegel exercises) in 28 minutes! Both women and men can benefit who have SUI, OAB, and mixed incontinence. I have seen this device change peoples’ lives! There are also medications and procedures for the right patient. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to talk to your primary care provider! You are not alone!


 

Call and schedule a complimentary meet and greet with Dr. Fedelem.

9150 Galleria Ct., Suite 200, Naples, FL 34109 | LornaFedelemMD.com | 239.580.6390

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