Urinary incontinence makes it difficult to control your bladder. You may experience mild symptoms such as occasional leaking or more severe symptoms such as full-blown wetting. It’s a common, and frequently embarrassing condition, but also highly treatable.
There are many causes of urinary incontinence, but the two most common types are stress urinary incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence usually comes from weak or pelvic muscles. Weak pelvic muscles allow leaking or wetting when you laugh, sneeze, or engage in intense physical activity. An overactive bladder causes urge incontinence, which is usually associated with frequent, intense urges to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full.
In some cases, urinary incontinence stems from another easily treatable condition, such as a urinary tract infection or constipation. Ongoing symptoms can affect anyone, but pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy and changes associated with age increase your risk.
A thorough exam can help your doctor determine if urinary incontinence is at play. The exam will include discussion of your symptoms, personal health history, and family medical history. Your doctor may also suggest a urinalysis and a bladder diary, in which you track your fluid intake and urination for a few days. The doctor may also do a post-void residual measurement, which measures urinary output and checks how much residual urine is left in your bladder after you urinate. .
Treatment for urinary incontinence involves addressing the underlying cause. If you have a bladder infection, for example, antibiotics will help alleviate the infection as well as the frequent urges to urinate. For persistent symptoms, your doctor may suggest bladder training exercises, scheduled toilet trips, and lifestyle changes, such as limiting caffeine, alcohol, and acidic foods. Pelvic floor exercises, medications, electrical stimulation, and laser therapy can also help. For severe cases, or when other treatments fail to improve your symptoms, surgery may be recommended.
MonaLisa Touch uses a medical laser to target and treat a variety of conditions, including mild urinary incontinence. It’s ideal for people seeking a less-invasive alternative to traditional treatments such as surgery. The minimally-invasive in-office procedure is painless and takes less than 5 minutes per session. You’ll likely require a series of sessions, spread out over time.
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