From an interview with
Dr. Eric Coughlin
McLeod OB/GYN Associates
There are many types of incontinence that a woman might deal with but McLeod OB/GYN Eric Coughlin describes the two most common and their treatment.
Here are Dr. Coughlin’s comment plus some additional information you may find useful:
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Classically, you think: “I’ve got to go to the bathroom right now.” That’s urge incontinence, stimulated by a contraction of the bladder to squeeze against the urine. Urge incontinence can be caused by a combination of factors that cause stress incontinence plus certain medications and neurological causes, such as spinal cord injuries.
The other dominant type is stress incontinence. That’s the cough, sneeze, or laugh resulting in a loss of urine from small dribbles or complete loss of urine. The majority of stress incontinence develops over time — stress to the pelvic floor, groups of muscles and tendons that support different structures in the pelvis and hold the uterus, urethra, bladder and rectum in the appropriate location. Vaginal deliveries, gravity, life or health problems increase the risk of incontinence.
Urge incontinence is typically managed with medication to decrease stimulation of the bladder muscles.. After that, there are surgical procedures that can be performed.
For stress incontinence, we can do for outpatient management, such as exercises called Kegels or bladder training to make sure you’re urinating frequently enough to not have a full bladder.
A primary procedure for managing stress incontinence is the sling. It can be placed in many different ways, but basically it involves using a small piece of mesh material. This isn’t the same mesh that you may have heard about on the lawsuit commercials about lawsuits. Those mesh types were used for prolapse of certain portions of the vagina. Today’s mesh is actually a small piece that goes under the urethra and prevents it from changing angle to allow loss of urine. So, similar material but different location, without the same risks of erosion and pain with intercourse, vaginal discharge or bleeding.
Feel free to discuss the mesh issue with your OB/GYN.
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