Many women have issues with their bladder ranging from frequent voiding, infections, leaking to pelvic pressure and pain. In fact almost 25 million Americans, most of them women admit to some incontinence or leaking of urine. Because leaking and bladder problems are sometimes accepted as part of aging or as a result of childbirth or other medical problems, and because it can be embarrassing to talk about, women wait on average 6.5 years before they talk to their physician about their symptoms. All of our providers at SOGA are able to assist women with any bladder, urinary issues that may be experiencing.
It is important to seek help for any chronic bladder issues because they could be a sign of a more serious issue like multiple sclerosis, interstitial cystitis, diabetes, or a pelvic tumor. Bladder issues may cause women to skip activities they enjoy (running, golf, traveling) because of a fear of having an accident. One of the most common reasons that older women fall is that they are hurrying to the bathroom, especially at night.
Knowing when to see your doctor can be challenging when the symptoms have been present for awhile. When bladder issues are affecting your quality of life, it is time to make an appointment for an evaluation.
Risk Factors for Urinary Incontinence
One way to prepare for a visit to discuss bladder issues is to keep a voiding diary for a week or two prior to your visit. Noting things like diet, exercise, number of pads used, visits to the bathroom and leaking episodes can be helpful in making a diagnosis and finding effective treatment.
Treatment for bladder issues varies depending on the cause of the problems. Sometimes antibiotics are needed for chronic infections. Diet changes may be recommended to reduce bladder irritants. For women with bladder issues that are overweight, even small amounts of weight loss can be very effective in reducing frequency and leaking episodes. Your SOGA provider may also recommend a referral for physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor.
For certain types of leaking and for symptoms of a dropped or fallen bladder, surgery may be an option. SOGA physicians will do a pre-operative evaluation to help patients determine the most effective surgical treatment for their symptoms.