Incontinence & Urodynamics
Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control. It is a common condition in men and women. Symptoms can range from minor leaking to severe loss of control. While neither condition is serious, they can be embarrassing and affect your daily life. It can occur while laughing, coughing, sneezing, jogging or lifting a heavy object. This is known as stress incontinence. Another type of incontinence occurs as a strong urge to urinate without enough time to reach a bathroom. This is known as urge incontinence. Other causes of incontinence occur as a result of prostate problems or nerve damage.
Urinary incontinence can affect people of all ages, but women are especially susceptible during and after pregnancy. The incontinence is often caused by a urinary tract infection or weak muscles in the urinary tract. Weak muscles may prevent you from closing off the urethra while doing certain activities. Urinary incontinence can usually be diagnosed through a medical examination and simple tests. Treatment may include lifestyle changes or medication.
At One to One FemaleCare, our staff will review your bladder symptoms and likely suggest a series of tests known as urodynamic studies. We perform these studies in the privacy of our office to diagnosis the underlying condition which will help resolve your discomfort.
Urodynamic studies are a series of urological tests that may be performed if a person is experiencing urinary problems. Urinary problems may be the result of several different conditions, including bladder infections, urethra or sphincter problems, enlarged prostate, nervous system malfunctions and medication side effects. These tests are typically performed after an infection is ruled out. Tests performed for urodynamic studies may include:
A uroflowmetry test measures the speed and volume of urine flow. This test is used to determine if the bladder muscle is weak or urine flow is obstructed.
A cystometrogram measures how much pressure the bladder can hold before needing to empty. A catheter is placed in the bladder as more and more water is added until the need to urinate is felt.
An electromyography test measures the muscles in and around the sphincter. This test is used to determine if the urological problem is related to nerve or muscle damage.
A Post-Void Residual Test
A post-void residual test, also known as a PVR test, measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. This test is performed using an ultrasound and inserting a catheter into the bladder through the urethra.
Pressure Flow Studies
Pressure flow studies measure pressure in the bladder while urinating. These tests help distinguish between urinary symptoms caused by obstruction, and those caused by a problem affecting the bladder muscles or nerves.
Other tests such as measuring residual urine and leakage may also be performed to assist the doctor in diagnosing urinary conditions. The series of urodynamic studies that are performed will vary based on individual's symptoms and diagnosis.
After reviewing the results of the urodynamic tests, doctors will be able to diagnose a specific condition and create a customized treatment plan for the patient.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment
Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control. This a common condition that involves the accidental release of urine. Although it is not a serious or harmful condition, urinary incontinence can be embarrassing and may affect your daily life. Treatment of urinary incontinence is usually simple and effective.
Some of the treatments for urinary incontinence include the following:
Exercises - Pelvic floor or Kegel exercises can help to strengthen pelvic muscles that are used to close off the urethra.
Diet - Changes to your diet and weight loss can also help to control and prevent accidents.
Behavior modification - includes training your bladder and setting a scheduled urination time are often effective in treating urinary incontinence.
If these conservative methods are unsuccessful, anticholinergic medications, which relax the bladder and increase bladder capacity, may be prescribed. A device called a pessary that is inserted into the vagina to help retain urine can be helpful. Surgery may be required for patients who do not respond to other treatments. Surgery modifies the urethra or returns it to its original location to restore control. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best for you.
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