Urinary incontinence is twice as common for women as it is for men, and can cause extreme embarrassment and discomfort. At the practice of Allyson A. Gonzalez, MD, women in Santa Monica, California, and nearby communities, rely on the OB/GYN expertise of Dr. Gonzalez to get the help they need for incontinence. If bladder control issues are affecting your quality of life, you’re not alone and help is available. Schedule an appointment by phone or use the online booking feature to request a convenient time to come to the office.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control that leads to urine leakage when you least expect it. Incontinence can occur after pregnancy or as you age as the result of hormonal and physical changes in your body. If your urinary sphincter — the muscle that allows you to hold or release urine from the bladder — doesn’t function properly, you can experience incontinence issues that interfere with your lifestyle and daily activities.
Incontinence affects women in different ways. You may have a leaky bladder or an increased need to empty your bladder several times a night. Urinary incontinence can make it hard for you to get a good night’s sleep if you have to get up multiple times a night to use the bathroom.
Additionally, incontinence may prevent you from participating in activities you enjoy for fear of an embarrassing accident.
Stress incontinence and urge incontinence (overactive bladder) are the most common types of incontinence. You may have one or the other, or you may have a combination of both.
Stress incontinence happens when you laugh, sneeze, or exert yourself physically. A small amount of urine leaks out when you put pressure on your bladder muscles. Stress incontinence is common during and after pregnancy and childbirth since you often lose pelvic muscle tone as a result of delivering babies.
Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden, intense urge to use the bathroom followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Urge incontinence may be a sign of an underlying infection or health condition such as diabetes.
Additional types of urinary incontinence include: overflow incontinence, in which you experience a frequent dripping of urine when your bladder doesn’t empty completely; and functional incontinence, when you have a disability of some kind that prevents you from getting to the bathroom on time.
When incontinence is a regular occurrence in your life that interferes with daily activities, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. Dr. Gonzalez evaluates your condition and looks for signs of an underlying problem so she can treat it accordingly and relieve you of symptoms. She also offers effective treatments such as the Votiva feminine rejuvenation system that can help tighten your pelvic floor muscles for increased bladder control.
It’s important to treat any underlying medical causes of urinary incontinence so you can address the root of the problem and feel more confident.
If incontinence is disrupting your life, call to schedule an exam or book an appointment using the online system.