Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, affects millions of people of all ages. Contrary to common beliefs, it isn’t a natural part of aging and isn’t confined to women. In men, the condition can be the result of surgery for prostate cancer, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and less commonly, enlarged prostate. In fact, in the 7th, 8th and 9th decades of life, more men than women are bothered with this problem.
- Many people avoid normal activities because of incontinence
- Incontinence results in loss of self-esteem and can cause anxiety and depression in some people
- Urinary incontinence is costly
- Many people are embarrassed or fearful of mentioning their problem to a family member or physician
- Over 80 percent of patients can be helped or cured
- An expert evaluation will increase the chances of successful therapy
- Treatments can include behavior changes, medications, and pacemakers for the bladder. In men, an artificial urinary sphincter is an option.
What causes urinary incontinence?
A common type of urinary incontinence in adults occurs during coughing, sneezing and physical exertion and is called stress incontinence. It results when the urine passage and the sphincter, the small circular muscle that controls the start and stop of urine, doesn’t function properly.
In women, it is usually due to loss of bladder support resulting from multiple childbirths, aging, obesity or lack of estrogen. Men often suffer from stress incontinence following radiation therapy or surgery for prostate cancer. Neurologic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, also can result in bladder disorders.
A second common type is urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder. With this type, the smooth muscle of the bladder contracts prematurely, causing an increase in bladder pressure resulting in an urgent need to urinate. It is usually associated with frequent urination both day and night. Common triggers for urge incontinence include cold weather, running water and laughing. Many people suffer from a combination of both stress and urge incontinence.
The first step to successful treatment is accurate diagnosis. Wake Forest Baptist offers video-urodynamics, a 30-minute diagnostic procedure that uses a small catheter to measure pressure and volume at the same time that the bladder is x-rayed. This combination helps doctors understand the exact cause so they can prescribe the best solution.
Our Incontinence Team:
- Gopal Badlani, MD
- Robert Evans, MD
- Catherine Matthews, MD
- Gopal Badlani, MD
- Ryan Terlecki, MD
Schedule an appointment today at 336-716-9253 or 888-716-9253.
Learn more about urinary incontinence from urologist Gopal Badlani, MD in the video below. A detailed 12-minute presentation on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse is also available on this page.