Farmington Hills, MI (March 11, 2009)--- Talking about bladder control problems is difficult. But if you’re one of the many that suffer from bladder issues, learning about available options is important. Advanced therapies and treatment are now helping women with urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse maintain their lifestyle habits with less thought on their bladder problem.
Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are weak or too active. Problems may also happen when nerve signals don’t work properly. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or exercise. This is called stress incontinence, the most common type of bladder control problem, where urine leaks due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues. Some causes include multiple childbirths, obesity, genetic weaknesses, radiation therapy and other chronic conditions.
When the bladder becomes too active, urge continence may occur. You may feel strong, sudden urges to go to the bathroom, even if your bladder has little urine. Causes include damage to the bladder’s nerves, the nervous system or the muscles.
Amy Opperer Brode, D.O., a Botsford Hospital urologist says, “Simple therapies, such as diet modification, avoiding liquids before bedtime, or changing medications can immediately improve urinary incontinence. However, when an infection or illness is causing bladder malfunction, more aggressive treatment may be needed. Non-invasive outpatient procedures, biofeedback, medications and surgery are options. Treatment varies for each patients based on type, persistence and severity.”
Another urological condition affecting women is pelvic prolapse. This occurs when a pelvic organ, such as the bladder, drops from its normal spot in your lower belly and pushes against the walls of your vagina. This can happen when the muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place get weak or stretched from childbirth or surgery. Pelvic prolapse can be made worse by anything that puts pressure on your belly such as obesity, long lasting cough, frequent constipation or tumors.
Dr. Brode says, “Kegel exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, cutting back on caffeine and not lifting heavy things can help alleviate the symptoms. If symptoms persist, a removable device called a pessary can be fitted in the vagina to help with the pain and pressure. This helps hold the pelvic organs in place.”
Minimally invasive surgeries are also available for these conditions. Dr. Brode says, “Nearly all women with bladder problems can be helped through some form of treatment. Speaking with a health care expert is important to get the best care possible for your symptoms. Keeping up with new treatment is vital to enhancing your quality of life.”
If you would like to find a doctor to speak to about incontinence and pelvic prolapse, please contact Botsford Hospital’s HealthMatch at (877) 477-DOC1.
Botsford Hospital, an independent 330-bed community teaching hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in the Hospital Setting, and, in 2007, a three-year recertification as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org
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