Involuntary urine leakage, known as urinary incontinence, is a common but bothersome problem that affects both men and women. Often people with incontinence avoid seeking medical care out of embarrassment. Fortunately, many therapies are available. For those who seek help, quality of life can be dramatically improved with treatment.
There are a few different types of incontinence:
- Stress Incontinence: urine leakage with coughing, sneezing, exercise, heavy lifting, etc.
- Urge Incontinence: strong urge to urinate with an inability to get to a bathroom on time
- Overflow Incontinence: the bladder cannot empty completely and then leaks when overly full
- Mixed Incontinence: a combination of multiple types
Evaluation by a urologist may include:
- Careful questioning and a physical exam
- Bladder diary: a “snapshot” of urination and fluid intake patterns
- Stress test: examining for urine leakage with abdominal straining
- Urine microscopy: evaluating the amount of blood and other abnormalities such as inflammatory cells or crystals in the urine
- Bladder ultrasound: checking the amount of residual urine in the bladder after urination
- Cystoscopy: passage of a thin scope through the urethra into the bladder allowing the doctor to visually examine the inner lining of the urethra and bladder
- Urodynamic studies: bladder physiology testing
Treatment options are tailored to each patient, but can include:
- Behavior modification
- Pelvic floor physical therapy
- Bladder neuromodulation (Axonics/InterStim®)
- Sling surgery
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Bladder BOTOX®
- Intermittent catheterization
- Urethral bulking agents (Bulkamid)
The caring team at Fore River Urology is dedicated to effective treatment of bladder control problems. All pelvic floor operations are performed by an expert, fellowship-trained urologist. For an appointment, please call 207-518-6600. You can request a male or female provider.