Incontinence in Women

Treatment for incontinence in St. Helena

Women are between four to five times more likely than men to have urinary incontinence problems than men. It affects one in three women over the age of 45 and one in two women over the age of 65. It also affects many younger women as well.

Talk to your doctor early when the symptoms are most treatable. Your physician will most likely perform a pelvic exam and urine and blood test may be ordered.

Most often the cause of incontinence is weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the vaginal wall (birth canal), the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder) and the muscles of the rectum.

Weakness or irritation of these muscles is caused by:

  • Hormonal changes, menopause
  • Obesity
  • Chronic constipation
  • Bearing down with eliminations
  • Changes in medications
  • Certain foods and beverages
  • Number of pregnancies, birth weights, deliveries (both vaginal and C-section)

Other causes of incontinence can be explained by things such as:

  • Constipation and bowel problems
  • Nerve conditions that affect brain signals such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or diabetes
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Certain medications such as decongestants or antihistamines

More than 90 percent of women wait for more than a year to seek help for incontinence. Most wish they had done it sooner. Don’t let embarrassment stand in the way of gaining a better quality of life.