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Urinary incontinence and its treatments

urinary incontinence

Urological disorders or conditions can occur in men, women and children of all ages and can affect many areas of their lives. One such condition is urinary incontinence.

What is urinary incontinence?

The involuntary loss of urine is called urinary incontinence. It can be classified by its symptoms as stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI) or a mixture of both, called mixed urinary incontinence.

What are the differences?

SUI is the leakage of urine during activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, straining and exertion.

UUI is a sudden desire to urinate with leakage of urine. This can be due to an overactive bladder, which is a sudden and frequent urge to urinate, sometimes awakening in the night to do so.

What can be done?

To determine whether you have SUI or UUI, diagnostic steps include a medical history, physical exam and lab tests to rule out a urinary tract infection.

Advice for those living with incontinence?

This is not simply a sign of aging and you don’t have to endure it. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments. 

Treatment of SUI includes:

  • Non-invasive conservative therapies such as behavior modification, medication and devices like urinary catheter placement
  • Minimally invasive options, such as collagen injections
  • Surgical options

Treatment of UUI includes: 

  • Non-invasive therapies such as behavior modification, diet modification (avoiding caffeine, alcohol, spicy and acidic foods), practicing more frequent scheduled urination, smoking cessation, physical therapy and medications
  • Minimally invasive options such as Botox® injections
  • Surgical options

Learn more about Via Christi’s urologists and to read additional urology articles. 

About Alosh Madala MD