Which Type of Urinary Incontinence Do I Have?

Which Type of Urinary Incontinence Do I Have?

Did you know that at least 40% of American women over age 65 have some form of urinary incontinence? If you’re one of the millions in this group, our team at the private practice of Daniel Esteves, MD, is here to help.

The good news is that you don’t have to live with urinary incontinence as you get older. Dr. Esteves and our committed care team have helped countless women in Lawrenceville, Georgia, overcome urinary incontinence. 

And the first step is understanding which type of incontinence you have. Take a moment to learn about the different types of urinary incontinence and how Dr. Esteves and our team can help. 

The different types of urinary incontinence

If you’re unable to hold your urine until you’re ready to use the bathroom, you may have one or more types of urinary incontinence. This condition can wreak havoc on your life, causing embarrassing leaks and even a full loss of control of your bladder.

There are different types of incontinence, each with different symptoms and treatments. Here’s a closer look at each:

Stress incontinence

Most women struggle with stress incontinence more than any other type of incontinence. Stress incontinence develops when the muscles that support your bladder and urethra weaken. If this happens, any pressure or stress on your bladder causes urine to leak. 

If you have stress incontinence, you may leak small amounts of urine when you jump or run, when you cough, or even when you laugh. Women are affected by stress incontinence more than men because of the physical stress of pregnancy and childbirth as well as vaginal atrophy, a condition that occurs as you age and that causes the walls of your vagina to weaken. 

Overactive bladder 

Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, often affects older women, though it’s not as common as stress incontinence. 

If you have this condition, you might have a sudden, strong, and desperate need to urinate. This urge can be so strong that it causes you to leak urine, even when your bladder is mostly empty.  

This type of incontinence develops due to an issue with the muscle that controls your bladder. When the bladder muscle (detrusor) begins to contract before your bladder is full, your body gets the message that you need to urinate, even if you physically don’t need to go.

Overflow incontinence

Women can also have something called overflow incontinence. If you have this type of incontinence, you may experience dripping or leaking without knowing you had to use the restroom. This usually happens after you urinate because with overflow incontinence, you can’t completely empty your bladder or hold the amount of urine being produced.

With this type of incontinence, you may also notice that you need to get up multiple times at night to urinate, or you might experience difficulties starting to urinate. Women with this type of incontinence also tend to get urinary tract infections more frequently. 

Mixed urinary incontinence

If you have problems that cause you to experience more than one type of urinary incontinence, Dr. Esteves may diagnose you with mixed urinary incontinence.  

Treating urinary incontinence

Dr. Esteves customizes your incontinence treatment plan based on your specific type of incontinence. After reviewing your medical history, evaluating any lifestyle factors, and ordering diagnostic tests, Dr. Esteves may recommend one or a combination of treatments, such as:

If these more conservative treatments don’t alleviate your symptoms, Dr. Esteves may recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair damaged pelvic floor muscles or the placement of a mesh sling to support your organs. 

No matter which type of urinary incontinence you have, we’re committed to helping you regain control of your bladder and reclaim your life. 

Learn more about the different types of urinary incontinence and which type is affecting you by contacting our Lawrenceville, Georgia, office today.

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