The definition of Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control which affects men, women and children of all ages and races. Estimates vary but it is safe to assume that at least over 10 million Americans share this problem.
Temporary bladder control problems can occur when you take some medications or suffer injury, infection, post-surgical weakness, or pregnancy complications. It’s also very common for men who have an enlarged prostate (BPH) or who have had prostate surgery. Chronic bladder control problems typically stem from damage to pelvic muscles, stroke, or may be a symptom of another disorder, such as diabetes or a tumor. What ever the cause of your problem, the good news is it’s manageable.
Symptoms and Severity
The severity of your urinary incontinence can range from occasional urine leaks when you cough or sneeze to having a sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate. In some cases this sudden urge may be so strong that you don’t even make it to the bathroom in time. In the most extreme cases the wetting can be more frequent. There are four basic types of urinary incontinence.
- Stress incontinence is a minor urine leak after cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise. It is the most common and effects both men and women.
- Overflow incontinence requires a long time to urinate and results in a dribbling stream of urine.
- Urge incontinence is a sudden need to urinate.
- Continuous incontinence (very rare) is the total loss of the ability or control
Because of the social difficulties of urinary incontinence, a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about loss of bladder control – even with Dr. Alarcon. Instead they try to deal with the situation quietly, assuming that nothing can be done. They may stay at home more, or confine their activities to an area within a short distance to a restroom facility. However, if your urinary incontinence affects your day-to-day life, then you should get help.
Make an appointment and let us perform a full exam. Common tests include a bladder diary, a urinalysis (urine sample) and blood test. Additionally, Dr. Alarcon may recommend a variety of urodynamic tests that can be done right in our office. In fact our office is fully furnished with state of-the-art equipment necessary to reach an accurate and conclusive diagnosis. You won’t need to visit another office or go to the hospital for tests. Even if you have consulted other physicians about your problem, call Dr. Alarcon for a consultation and evaluation. Dr. Alarcon is one of a select number of Southern California urologists who has completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the treatment of female urology and urinary incontinence. He has dedicated the majority of his practice to the treatment of bladder control disorders of all types. By the time we give you a recommendation, you can be confident that your entire medical history and urological complaints have been studied carefully to understand your unique situation and that the treatment Dr. Alarcon recommends is appropriate.
In most cases, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can help ease your discomfort and stop or control urinary incontinence. In more severe cases, Dr. Alarcon can perform a minimally invasive treatment right in the office. Whatever the cause of your problem, the good news is it’s manageable. And don’t forget most insurance plans cover evaluation and treatment.
Also see Female Stress Incontinence (women) and BPH (men) for more information.