Patients who are experiencing sudden changes in urination and believe they may have incontinence or an overactive bladder need proper treatment. Urologists can perform a variety of tests to identify the different types of incontinence and reveal the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Women who have given birth may experience minor incontinence symptoms.
At the first sign of incontinence, patients need to see a urologist for a physical examination and complete assessment. Many patients may develop incontinence as they age or because of underlying health conditions. When reviewing the patient’s case, the doctor may find another condition causing the incontinence that could be corrected through medication or surgical procedures.
Present Your Symptoms to Your Doctor
It’s important for patients to explain their incontinence symptoms to their doctor, and this could help the physician identify the type of incontinence. The most common symptom is leaking urine when the patient exercises, coughs, sneezes, or laughs.
A frequent feeling of urgency in which the patient cannot control urination, frequent urination, waking to urinate, and urinating while sleeping are also symptoms of incontinence. Doctors that specialize in urology offer assistance for patients who are experiencing incontinence.
Tests for Incontinence
- Urinalysis. The doctor gets a urine sample from the patient to test for abnormalities. If there are traces of blood or a urinary tract infection, the doctor must provide fast treatment for the patient
- Bladder diary. The doctor may require the patient to keep a diary of how much they urinate each day. The doctor can give the patient a pan to place around the top of the toilet to collect the urine and show the patient the exact volume of urine they passed. The details can determine the status of the patient’s bladder function. It can also establish if the patient is experiencing kidney-related symptoms.
- Postvoid residual measurement. The test requires the patient to urinate into a pan to measure the volume. Next, the doctor uses a catheter to remove any urine that wasn’t passed and remains inside the bladder. They may also complete an ultrasound. Patients who have an excessive amount left in their bladder may have an obstruction and require surgical intervention.
Reviewing Treatments for Incontinence
Patients with incontinence or OAB may try holistic practices to treat their conditions. The doctor may recommend scheduled toilet trips to void the bladder more often. Fluid and diet management can help patients get more control by eliminating excess fluid consumption.
This may include avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and foods that are too acidic. The doctor may also recommend bladder training where the patient holds it for at least 10 minutes each time they experience urgency, and they can complete pelvic floor experiences to strengthen the muscles that make it easier to hold it.
Medications for Incontinence
Incontinence treatments aren’t all holistic, and doctors may recommend medications such as anticholinergics that manage overactive bladders. Mirabegron is a medication that relaxes the bladder muscles and increases the capacity of the bladder. Alpha-blockers help patients pass urine more effectively and avoid late-night trips to the bathroom. Women can take topical estrogen, use a vagina ring, or apply an estrogen patch to improve the function of the urethra.
Are There Medical Devices That Treat Incontinence?
Doctors offer two primary medical devices that help with incontinence. First, there is the urethral insert that the patient inserts into the urethra. It plugs the urethra and prevents urine from passing, and the patients can remove it when they need to urinate. The device is helpful for patients who want to exercise but also want to avoid embarrassing leaks when they are in public.
The second of these medical devices is a pessary, and it is a silicone ring that is inserted into the vagina. The device lifts the bladder and prevents the pressure from the bladder’s weight to push down on the urethra and cause sudden leakage.
Women who have undergone a hysterectomy or surgical correction for prolapse need the device to support the bladder. If the cervix was removed, the pessary keeps the bladder in place until the patient undergoes bladder sling surgery.
Using a Catheter
If the patient’s incontinence is because of an inability to empty the bladder appropriately, the doctor will prescribe catheters for emptying the bladder. Patients will need to keep clean catheters with them at all times to urinate properly. The medical devices are covered by major healthcare insurance, and suppliers can help patients set up home delivery to retain their privacy. The doctor may perform a variety of tests to evaluate kidney function, too.
Surgeries to Correct Incontinence
If the patient’s bladder has prolapsed through or against the vaginal wall, the patient needs bladder sling surgery. The bladder neck suspension surgery offers support for the bladder neck and urethra. The doctor may also recommend prolapse surgery to reposition the pelvic organs, and the procedure may include the addition of a sling installation. An artificial urinary sphincter is a device installed in the bladder neck to keep the urinary sphincter closed until the patient urinates.
Where to Get Healthcare Services
Atlantic Urology Clinics provides a full array of urological treatments for patients in their network. The doctors complete testing and diagnostic services to find out what condition the patients have. The clinic has a long-standing history of providing exceptional services, and they have helped many patients who are experiencing symptoms of incontinence or overactive bladder. Patients that need treatment for urological conditions start by contacting the clinic for an appointment today.
Patients may experience incontinence because of childbirth or an enlarged prostate. They can also develop the condition because of bladder dysfunction, infections, and connecting kidney disease. Doctors record the patient’s symptoms and complete a series of tests to identify the exact cause of incontinence.
Doctors provide a variety of treatments for incontinence and overactive bladder. They may provide medication, medical devices, or set up surgical procedures that correct the underlying cause of the condition. Some patients may need catheters to empty their bladder fully and prevent bacterial growth. By visiting a urologist, patients find the proper treatment for their incontinence and get back to their normal life.