Stress urinary incontinence is a type of urine incontinence that affects millions of women; unfortunately, it is often overlooked or not addressed. Urinary incontinence stems from a variety of factors. It most often results from a lack of support from the pelvic diaphragm and a weakening urethra. Most patients first notice these symptoms when laughing or coughing.
Dr. David Ghozland provides relief from the most common causes of urinary incontinence through minimally invasive surgery. This is an outpatient procedure allowing patients to return to normal activity in a very quick and safe manner. Below are answers to common questions about urinary incontinence and treatments:
What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. It is most noticeable during physical activity, like coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercise. This affects many women and typically tends to occur after childbearing years. Symptoms often worsen with time, but stress incontinence is responsive to surgical management. Any movement that puts pressure on the bladder, like a sneeze or a laugh, causes the urethra to lose its seal and to allow urine to escape.
If you have stress urinary incontinence, you may feel embarrassed and isolate yourself, limiting your work and social life, exercise routines and normal daily activities. With treatment, you will be able to manage stress incontinence and improve your overall well-being.
Stress Urinary Incontinence Risk Factors and Causes
- Childbirth — Pregnancy and childbirth flatten, stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder neck and urethra.
- Menopause — During menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen. A lack of estrogen results in thinned tissues that line the urethra, a weakened sphincter mechanism that opens and closes the urethra and weakened bladder muscles
Other factors that may worsen urinary incontinence include:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Illnesses that cause chronic coughing or sneezing
- Smoking, which can cause frequent coughing
- Diabetes, which can cause excess urine production and nerve damage
- Excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol
- Medications that cause a rapid increase in urine production
- Sports, such as tennis or running
Solutions for Urinary Stress Incontinence Include:
- Bladder Sling — This is the most common solution to involuntary urine loss. The net-like device supports the bladder and relieves pressure on the urethra.
- Non-Surgical Urinary Stress Incontinence — This FDA-approved, breakthrough procedure helps to relieve symptoms of urinary stress incontinence without the risks of traditional surgery thanks to the use of a fractional CO2 laser.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
- The surgery time is usually less than 30 minutes
- Procedure offers a quick recovery time and minimal pain
- Patients resume normal activities within a couple of days
- Most patients will not require catheterization
- Procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or light sedation in an outpatient setting
- Most patients are back to work the next day
Call Dr. Ghozland’s Santa Monica office at (310) 393-9359 for a free consultation.