Female Urinary Incontinence: Think of it as a medical condition, not an embarrassment. And know that it’s treatable.
The first thing you want to keep in mind when it comes to urinary incontinence is that it’s fairly common. The medical community estimates that up to 15 million adults—with somewhere between 70% to 85% of them being women—experience some form of urinary incontinence and the number may be considerably higher since the condition is often unreported. If you’re a woman over the age of 50, there’s a one in four chance that you have involuntary urination.
The other, even more important thing to remember is that most urinary incontinence is treatable. In fact, it can be treatable in up to 90% of the people who experience it. And that doesn’t mean just dealing with the results by using absorbent pads and adult diapers. It means a wide range of procedures that include behavioral techniques, medical devices, physical therapy, medications, surgery and other interventions that can help you return to a higher quality of life.
Toward this goal, Riverside Hampton Roads Urology, a practice made up of some of the region’s top urologists including the only female urologist on the Peninsula, have been effectively treating urinary incontinence in women for over three decades.
What is urinary incontinence and what forms does it take?
The higher prevalence of urinary incontinence among women is often related to pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract. Beyond these female-specific factors, women may also become incontinent from neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis and the use of over the counter or prescription drugs intended for an unrelated condition.
In addition, urinary incontinence can be related to some physical problems associated with—but not an inevitable part of—aging. As a result, older women experience urinary incontinence more often than younger women.
Your doctor can help you find a solution to a situation that can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. No single treatment works for everyone, but many women can find a significant improvement through one of the surgical or non-surgical strategies mentioned above.
Why is it important that you treat incontinence now?
What’s the next step?
Treatment will depend on your diagnosis and what kind of approach best fits your individual lifestyle. In all cases, make a decision not to go with the flow. Take action and get the help you need to get back to the life you want.