Incontinence

Gyne Health Women's Center

Women's Health and Wellness & Medical Weight Loss located in Alexandria, VA

If you cross or squeeze your legs when you laugh, cough, or jump, or if you’ve started wearing mini pads every day because you dribble urine, you have a condition called incontinence. Nurse practitioners Joanna Sampson, FNP, NP, and Dr. Ashwina Sheth, help you enjoy life without worry or embarrassment by treating incontinence at Gyne Health Women's Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Get help with discreet bladder and bowel control services available right here at the center. This non-surgical program will help you to regain control over your bladder and your life. There’s no reason to silently suffer. To set up an incontinence consultation, call the friendly office, or make an appointment online.

Incontinence Q & A

What is incontinence?

Incontinence is the inability to hold in urine. About 10% of American women under the age of 65 and 35% over 65 have urinary incontinence. The types of incontinence are:

Stress incontinence

Pressure on the bladder when you run, jump, cough, laugh, or sneeze causes you to leak urine. This happens because your urethral sphincter muscles are too weak to hold the urine back.

Urge incontinence

You have a strong, persistent urge to urinate many times a day. There are instances when you may not make it to the bathroom on time. Urge incontinence is sometimes called overactive bladder.

Overflow incontinence

You constantly dribble small amounts of urine. You also may not be able to empty your bladder completely.

Functional incontinence

Arthritis or other health condition impairs your ability to get to the bathroom on time.

Many women have more than one type of incontinence. This is called mixed incontinence.

Why do I have incontinence?

Pregnancy and childbirth may weaken your urogenital muscles so that you can’t hold back your urine anymore. Incontinence commonly impacts women in their perimenopausal and menopausal years. As you age, all of your tissues — including those in your bladder and the muscles that control urine flow — lose their strength and resilience. 

You’re more likely to develop incontinence if you’re overweight or obese because the excess weight puts pressure on your bladder. Nerve damage from a medical condition, such as diabetes, or post-surgical complications, can also cause incontinence. Medications, infections, and caffeine may weaken your urogenital muscles.

Is incontinence serious?

Incontinence is one of the first indicators that your urogenital system is not as healthy as it should be. Untreated, incontinence can progress to conditions such as:

  • Prolapse: Your urethra or uterus drops into your vagina
  • Kidney stones: Painful crystals form in your kidneys
  • Rashes: Your skin is irritated from exposure to urine

You might also curtail your social life to avoid being embarrassed by sudden urges or leaks.

How can I treat incontinence?

Based on the reasons behind your incontinence, the nurse practitioners together with a Well trained Pelvic Floor Specialist at Gyne Health Women's Center custom design a treatment plan. Personalized recommendations may include:

  • Working with a Pelvic Floor Specialist right here at the office
  • Kegel exercises
  • Bladder training
  • Dietary changes
  • Supervised weight loss
  • Smoking cessation

To find out how to strengthen the bladder, and avoid incontinence, schedule an appointment by phone or online.