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Everything You Need to Know About Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a common problem, especially for older men and women, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The doctors at Urology Group of Florida offer professional diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes of incontinence, including electrical stimulation to correct bladder overactivity, when appropriate.

Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence occurs when you don’t always have full control over your bladder. Types of incontinence include:

Overflow incontinence

Functional incontinence

Stress incontinence

Urge incontinence

You may also experience multiple forms of incontinence at once, a condition called mixed incontinence. Severe cases of urinary incontinence may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as diabetes or prostate cancer.

What is overflow incontinence?

When you have overflow incontinence, your bladder doesn’t empty fully, which sometimes makes you dribble urine. Overflow incontinence often results from an enlarged prostate, which can be treated with medication.

What is functional incontinence?

Functional incontinence means you have other health conditions, such as arthritis, that make it difficult to get to the bathroom on time. Functional incontinence treatment largely focuses on the health conditions that cause it, but your doctor will also teach you to plan ahead so you can more easily access the bathroom when you need it.

What is stress incontinence?

Stress incontinence causes you to leak urine when you put pressure (or stress) on your bladder muscles, including when you cough, sneeze or laugh.

Stress incontinence is a sign that the muscles that make up your pelvic floor have weakened and are unable to support your bladder. To treat stress incontinence, your doctor may recommend Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen your pelvic floor, and behavioral adjustments, such as keeping track of leakages so you can time when you go to the bathroom.

What is urge incontinence?

Urge incontinence makes you feel sudden, frequent urges to urinate. Often, these urges come on quickly enough that you won’t be unable to make it to the bathroom in time. It’s manageable through a combination of medications, kegel exercises, and behavioral changes. You may also benefit from weight loss and changes to your diet.

The team at Urology Group of Florida also provide two treatments that use electricity to stimulate your bladder and regulate its functioning:

  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS)

PTNS is a nonsurgical procedure that involves stimulating the tibial nerve, which affects bladder contractions using electrical current. PTNS treatment consists of 12 weekly procedures lasting 30 minutes each. After this course of treatment, you may need occasional follow-up treatments to manage your symptoms.

  • InterStim® (sacral neuromodulation)

Your doctor can also implant an InterStim, which is essentially a pacemaker for your bladder. The InterStim sends mild electrical pulses that allow your bladder to communicate better with your brain, which gives you more control over your bladder and reduces urinary urges.


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