Incontinence 3
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Urinary incontinence can be a devastating problem for many people.  Fortunately, most people can be cured or greatly improved with treatment. Dr. Edward Hill discusses treatment options in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

If the cause of urinary incontinence is simple, such as a medication side effect, it may be easily treated.  If not, there are various treatments including:

- Exercises - Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the pelvic floor and sphincter muscles in women who have stress incontinence.

- Timed voiding – regular urination at scheduled times during the day, such as every 4 hours whether or not you have the urge, may be enough to improve incontinence

- Medications – may be used to treat certain types of incontinence. Some inhibit an overactive bladder; others relax or constrict the sphincter muscle.  Estrogens may be used to improve incontinence in older women.

-  Pessaries – this is a stiff ring inserted into the vagina to reposition the urethra and prevent urine leakage

If these treatments fail, surgery may be needed by a gynecologist or urologist.  This includes prostate surgery in men, pelvic muscle suspension surgery in women, or insertion of an artificial sphincter

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.