Urinary incontinence: You don’t have to live with it

Monday, October 15, 2018

Dr. Lekha Hota

About half of all middle-aged and post-menopausal women suffer from an accidental loss of urine. Most women don’t want to talk about it, but with several treatment options available – some that don’t include medication or surgery – having a conversation with your doctor could make a big difference. WVU Medicine urogynecologist Lekha Hota, MD, clears up some of the myths about urinary incontinence.

MYTH: It’s not a real health problem.
A woman’s social life, and physical and mental health can be affected by urinary incontinence – some experience depression and others withdrawal from social activities. It affects each person differently from an occasional leak to more severe issues. The two most common types of urinary incontinence are:

  • Stress incontinence: Coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising puts pressure on the bladder causing accidental urine loss
  • Urge incontinence: An overactive bladder with a sudden, strong urge to urinate

MYTH: It’s something that happens with age.
Urinary incontinence may be caused by multiple factors. Possible causes of stress urinary incontinence may include childbirth, excess weight, or neurological conditions, like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Urge incontinence could be caused by urinary tract infections, drinking too much fluid, or bladder abnormalities, such as having bladder stones.

MYTH: You just have to learn to live with it.
A variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for urinary incontinence. A WVU Medicine urogynecologist can help you find the right lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss, decreasing caffeine, and techniques for retraining your bladder. Working with a physical therapist may also be beneficial. Make an appointment with a WVU Medicine provider today to learn more about treatment options that would work best for your individual condition.

For questions or to make an appointment, call 855-WVU-CARE / Visit WVUMedicine.org for more about services.