The Facts on Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Prolapse

Gilleran200x300Many women think that urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urinary control, is “just a part of aging,” but women no longer have to accept this bothersome condition that was once ignored.  Urinary incontinence affects almost 1 in 3 adult women at some point in their life, and can be a result of childbirth, surgery, and other causes.  The most common types of incontinence are “stress” (associated with activities, such as playing sports, laughing, or sneezing) and “urge” (associated with a strong desire to urinate and inability to hold it until one gets to a toilet).  Treatments available include non-surgical options, such as pelvic floor exercises either done independently or with a trained therapist, medication, and/or behavioral management (such as minimizing caffeine).  The vast majority of surgical procedures for incontinence nowadays are minimally invasive, take less than an hour, and patients can go home the same day as the procedure.  Recovery is short, with most people returning to daily activities and work in a few days.

Pelvic prolapse is another bothersome condition that is often referred to as a “dropped bladder.”  Like incontinence, this can happen after childbirth, but can also occur after hysterectomy.  More than 1 in 10 women will undergo surgery to correct this problem.  The common symptoms are that of a bulge or pressure, difficulty urinating or having a bowel movement, or discomfort.  Non-surgical options include placement of a pessary, a small device used to hold up the prolapsed tissue.  Surgical procedures to address this can be done either through a vaginal or a laparoscopic approach.

Dr. Gilleran is a board-certified Urologist with fellowship training focused in female urologic conditions such as incontinence, prolapse, and chronic pelvic pain.  He is on staff at Royal Oak and Troy Beaumont Hospitals, as well as at the UnaSource Surgery Center in Troy.   If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact the Comprehensive Urology office inside the UnaSource Medical Building at 248-267-5035.

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