Treatment options for female urinary incontinence in Lake Forest, IL
Few things can be more embarrassing than suffering from urinary incontinence. At Partners in Pelvic Health in Lake Forest, IL, Dr. Sanjay Gandhi understands how much of an effect female urinary incontinence can have on your life and offers a variety of diagnostic tools and treatment options to help you get back to your daily life without the worry of accidents or leaks.
Female urinary incontinence is a complex condition that can have many different causes and manifestations. It is typically caused by an underlying physical condition or follows a dramatic change in hormones, such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, neurological disorders, urinary tract infections, or other diseases, but it can also be caused by simple aging processes. Women suffering from incontinence may have one or more of the following types:
- Stress incontinence, where urine accidentally leaks from your bladder during times of physical exertion, such as during heavy lifting, sneezing, or laughing
- Urge incontinence, where you experience sudden urges to urinate that are typically associated with an overactive bladder
- Overflow incontinence, where you are unable to completely empty your bladder, which can result in dribbling or a constant flow of urine
- Functional incontinence, where a mental or physical condition prevents you from being able to urinate in time when you need to go
Treatment options for female urinary incontinence
If you are a woman suffering from urinary incontinence, it is important to know that you have options for treating it and do not need to live with the condition for the rest of your life. Because there are many different types of incontinence and underlying causes, it is important to work with an experienced doctor to determine the source of the issue so that it can be effectively treated. Dr. Sanjay Gandhi conducts a one-on-one consultation with each patient to understand their symptoms, identify triggers that exacerbate the issue, and learn about lifestyle and medical history factors that might be playing a role in the condition. Based on this information and a complete physical examination, Dr. Gandhi may recommend one or more of the following urinary incontinence treatments:
- Medications: Several types of medications have been shown to calm urge incontinence and/or help patients empty their bladders more completely when they urinate. These include mirabegron; anticholinergics such as oxybutynin, tolterodine, darifenacin, and others; and certain antidepressant medications, which can also treat incontinence.
- Topical treatments: Low-dose topical estrogen, which can be administered as a cream, patch, or ring, can help boost muscle tone and revitalize tissues in the vagina and urethra to help improve urinary incontinence due to hormonal changes.
- Botox injections: While Botox is a common household name at this point and is well known for its anti-wrinkle effects, it is also used medically for a wide array of indications. For women suffering from an overactive bladder, Botox injections can help calm the bladder muscle and provide symptom relief.
- Medical devices: Urethral inserts, which are small disposable devices that can be placed in the urethra before activities that are known to cause leakage (such as a physical activity), can serve as a plug to stop embarrassing leaks and then be taken out before urinating after activities. A vaginal ring called a pessary can help women who have urinary incontinence that is due to a prolapse; the device helps support the bladder and prevent leakage.
- Surgical procedures: If a physical condition such as a prolapsed uterus is causing your incontinence or other treatment options have failed to provide relief, then surgery may be the best choice for you. Surgical techniques used for incontinence include the placement of a sling around your urethra and bladder to prevent leakage, prolapse surgery, and suspension of the bladder neck to better support your bladder and urethra.
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation: A non-medical, non-surgical option that uses natural and homeopathic methods to regain control of your pelvic floor and bladder. It typically involves a multi-disciplinary approach, which means that Dr. Gandhi may recommend that you see a physical therapist or other clinician, whom he will work closely with to help you achieve the best results. With a systematic approach to rehabilitating your pelvic floor, you can achieve effective results for urinary incontinence as well as several other conditions, such as pelvic pain or spasms.
- Pelvic stimulation: Electrical stimulation therapy is another non-invasive, non-surgical option that can be used to help better activate your pelvic floor muscles to treat urinary incontinence. Using electrical stimulation from adhesive pads that are strategically placed near your pelvic floor or inside your vagina, you are better able to contract the targeted muscles to strengthen them and improve your symptoms. We offer both in-office treatments and take-home units so you can benefit from regular treatment in the comfort of your home.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment option for incontinence, and in some patients, it takes trial and error to identify the therapy that works best for your symptoms.
Compassionate, comprehensive care
At Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology, Dr. Sanjay Gandhi and the entire team of professionals are here to help you get back to living your life without the worry of embarrassing accidents at inopportune times. Urinary incontinence does not need to limit your life—with the latest diagnostic tools and several treatment options that are customized to your specific needs, urinary incontinence can become an issue of the past. With several offices in the greater Chicago area, including Lake Forest, Woodstock, Park City, and Chicago, we are always close to work or home. Call us today at (844) 327-1188 to learn about your options.