Slow, minor leakage after urinating. This can occur when the urethra is blocked or when the bladder muscles fail to completely empty the bladder.
Also known as overactive or spastic bladder, urge incontinence is leakage that results from a strong, immediate urge to urinate.
This happens when a muscle spasm contracting the bladder overpowers the sphincter muscles that regulate the flow of urine through the urethra.
This is leakage that is caused by the physical stress of coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising.
Stress incontinence is usually due to the deterioration of the tissues and muscles that support the urinary organs.
Exhibiting symptoms of both urge and stress incontinence.
Women with urinary incontinence can experience symptoms beyond leakage.
It’s important to note which symptoms are affecting you so that you can relay the information to your gynaecologist. Some symptoms include:
Many different medical conditions may cause urinary incontinence. Some of these conditions are easy to treat while others may require intensive intervention or have long-lasting effects.
Some medications have urinary incontinence as a side effect. These drugs are also known as diuretics. Most patients regain control of their bladder once they are off the medication.
Urinary tract infections are fairly common in women. There are some preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of a bladder infection or a UTI, and they can usually be treated with antibiotics.
Polyps, tumours, and bladder stones may cause urinary leakage, especially urge incontinence. These growths can usually be treated with the help of your doctor.
A urinary fistula is an abnormal opening between a urinary organ and another proximal organ. Urine may leak out of this abnormal opening (i.e. through a fistula in the vagina).
A healthy pelvis contains strong tissue that supports the organs and keeps them in place.
In some patients, these tissues and muscles can weaken and cause the bladder, urethra, uterus, or rectum to prolapse, causing urinary leakage and other problems.
This condition is sometimes treated with surgery, or with a supportive device known as a pessary.
Urinary incontinence is sometimes caused by a lapse in the brain’s ability to communicate with the bladder and urethral muscles.
Because urinary incontinence could be an indication of several very different medical conditions diagnosing the cause can be tricky. If you are having difficulty controlling your bladder during the day or night, make an appointment at your earliest convenience. Ensure you maintain a diary of your symptoms noting the time of day and amount of urine you leaked or voided. If you have experienced a leak, write down what you were doing at that time and make note of what liquid intake and medications you are using. At your appointment we may conduct a combination of tests, including:
Your doctor will check for physical abnormalities or any other possible causes of your incontinence.
Your doctor will ask you to cough with a full bladder to observe any leakage.
After urinating, your doctor will use ultrasound or a catheter to measure the amount of liquid left in your bladder.
We inject a special dye into your bladder whilst you are wearing a sanitary pad. The amount of dye leaked onto the pad helps diagnose the severity of your incontinence.
Your doctor inserts a narrow, flexible tube into your urethra. The lens at the end allows your doctor to see inside your urinary tract and bladder.
Depending on the cause of your condition diagnosed at London Obs & Gynae Clinic we have several options to treat your urinary incontinence.
Some cases of urinary incontinence (see below) can clear up with a few lifestyle changes:
Please talk to us about therapeutic and medical interventions, for example:
Physical therapy for urinary incontinence can include a few different strategies. You may be asked to change your fluid intake and practice Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Your physical therapist will also show you techniques for bladder training. This is to reduce the frequency of the urge to urinate to normal levels (about every 4 hours during the day and between 4-8 hours at night).
Your therapist may employ a technique called biofeedback to teach you how to monitor your body’s natural signals.
If urinary incontinence is caused by overactive bladder muscles, then there are some medications that can help keep the muscular contractions under control.
Bulking agents are substances that are injected into the tissues surrounding the urethra. They can add support and bulk to the tissue, and shrink the urethral opening. This helps stop the flow of urine.
A pessary is a small, doughnut-shaped device that is inserted into your vagina to help provide support for prolapsed pelvic tissue and organs.
Some devices can put pressure on the urethra, aiding in the prevention of leaks. A pessary is a good choice for women who may not be good candidates for surgery.
There are a number of procedures that can improve urinary incontinence. Your gynaecologist can discuss the options that are right for you based on the cause of your condition, your age, and your overall health.
Speak to our consultant