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What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Learn the tips doctors share with their patients who suffer from urinary incontinence.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD,
  • Lose weight:  Several studies have shown that losing weight can improve stress incontinence. And though we are not certain about its effects on the other types of incontinence, I don’t see how it could hurt!
  • Try medication:  Several medications, including oxybutinin and tolteradine, can improve urinary symptoms.  They are prescribed at a small dose and you’re then re-evaluated every four weeks, as the meds can take that long to start working well.  Some of the most common side effects I hear from my patients are constipation, dry mouth, and drowsiness. 

  • Get a pessary:  In those with stress incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, a small device called a pessary can be sized and inserted by a gynecologist to keep the organs in place.  It’s a very popular option for many women, and it’s generally considered very safe.

  • Try neurologic stimulation:  Performed by a uro-gynecologist, a device with probes can be inserted and used to stimulate the pelvic muscles.  You can think of it as almost a type of physical therapy performed on the pelvis.

  • Get surgery:  As a last resort, several procedures are effective in improving urinary incontinence, including what’s called a “sling” procedure in which a sling is literally inserted around the urethra to give it extra support.

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Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only.  This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider.  Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

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