Urinary incontinence is uncontrolled leaking of urine — a common and curable condition. While you may think a loss of bladder control is a normal part of aging, it doesn’t have to be. For many, simple treatment options can ease symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence affects older adults more frequently, but it can happen to men and women of any age. It is also common in women who have delivered a baby. There are several types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence: The most common type, stress incontinence causes you to leak when exercising, coughing, sneezing, laughing or any body movements that put pressure on your bladder.
- Urge incontinence: Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, can lead to urinating at night, increased urgency and frequency, and leakage during intercourse.
- Mixed incontinence: You may experience both stress and urge incontinence together, particularly after childbirth and as you age.
- Overflow incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when the bladder overflows. An enlarged prostate can cause a blocked urethra, making overflow incontinence more common with men.
If you have urinary incontinence, make an appointment with a Rush urogynecologist (for female patients) or a urologist (for male patients) to discuss treatment options.
Urinary Incontinence Care at Rush
Your lifestyle, health history and type of urinary incontinence will help your Rush OB-GYN, urogynecologist or urologist develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Treatment options could include the following:
- Lifestyle changes: Patients learn urination patterns, change their fluid or food intakes or time their urination to better control their bladders.
- Kegel exercises: Kegels strengthen your pelvic floor giving you better control over your bladder.
- Medications: A number of medications can help decrease bladder spasms, tighten the urinary sphincter and alleviate irritation to help with incontinence.
- Electrical stimulation procedure: Mild electrical pulses stimulate pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them.
- Injections: Certain substances, like collagen, can keep the sphincter muscles closed and stop urine from leaking.
- Sling: A surgeon inserts a sling around the urethra to help support it and keep it closed so you don’t leak urine.
- Artificial sphincter: Your urinary sphincter muscle controls the flow of urine out of your bladder. An artificial sphincter fits around the neck of the bladder, keeping the sphincter closed until you push a button (located under your skin) to urinate.
Rush Excellence in Urinary Incontinence Care
- Nationally ranked for excellence: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center No. 13 in the nation for gynecology care, and ranked its urology services as a high-performing program.
- Treatment with emphasis on your quality of life: Rush providers are some of the country’s leading experts in urologic care. Beyond just treating your condition, they are dedicated to personalized care that focuses on your quality of life and preserving your urinary and sexual functions.
- Experts at minimally invasive surgeries: It’s possible to relieve many incontinence problems with nonsurgical treatments, including pelvic floor exercises, timed voiding and medications. If surgery is required, Rush urogynecologists and urologists are some of the country’s leading surgeons in minimally invasive procedures. Patients who undergo a minimally invasive surgery often have shorter hospital stays, less pain and faster recoveries as compared with traditional surgery.
- Care close to home: To make care convenient for you, Rush offers OB-GYN, urogynecology and urology experts close to home. You can schedule appointments in Chicago, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Aurora, Naperville and Park Ridge.