Female Urinary Incontinence Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Help Is On The Way

Millions of women find themselves unable to control their urine flow as they once did. There is no single universal cause, but the feeling of self-consciousness is surely something they have in common.

With today’s treatments, most of them non-surgical, urologists can end the embarrassment by diagnosing and treating the problem. Urinary incontinence (UI) occurs more frequently with women than with men, especially as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and the anatomy of the female urinary tract itself. However, both sexes may develop leakage of urine due to nerve injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and certain conditions associated with getting older.

Meet Our Urologist


Dr. J. Antonio Alarcon is a board-certified urologist in Montebello, CA and has been in clinical practice at the Alarcon Urology Center since 1987. Dr. Alarcon has over 35 years of urologic experience and continues to help women in the Los Angeles area by diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence. If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence in the Los Angeles area, then Dr. Alarcon can help you, too! Call our office at (626) 284-9278 today to schedule an appointment, or submit a request online using our secure form.

Incontinence is a medical problem, and urologists are specialists with solutions. There are different types of UI, and it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause.

  • Overactive bladder is a condition that creates the need to urinate frequently. Abnormal nerve impulses may be signaling the brain even when the bladder is not full.
  • Urge incontinence is the involuntary loss of larger amounts of urine after suddenly having the urge to urinate. It is usually caused by abnormal nerve signals that create bladder spasms. Certain medications and diuretics can worsen the problem, as can emotional states like anxiety. Neurological conditions can also lead to this symptom.
  • Stress incontinence is leakage that occurs when force is placed on the bladder (sneezing, coughing, exercise, laughing, etc.) while the pelvic floor muscles and surrounding supports have weakened. The amount of loss is generally small.
  • Mixed incontinence refers to both stress incontinence and urge incontinence happening together. This is the most common type of UI in women.
  • Other types of UI are much less common and may be related to infection, blockage, medication, cognitive impairment, and restricted mobility.

The first step in dealing with female UI is an accurate diagnosis. Generally, this starts with an interview in the office. The patient may be instructed to keep a diary or log of urination habits and leakage at home. If this log does not clearly suggest a diagnosis, it at least points to which tests are in order.

Next, the doctor will conduct a physical exam for any medical condition or treatable blockage causing the UI. A weakening of the pelvic floor can lead to a condition called prolapse, where the vagina or bladder begins to protrude out of the body. There are several other tests that can be done, including a bladder stress test, laboratory urine analysis, ultrasound, urodynamics, and a cystoscope exam with a thin tube and tiny camera inserted gently into the urethra. Dr. Alarcon and his staff are sensitive to the emotions associated with UI and strive to make every patient comfortable. When the correct origin of the UI has been determined, appropriate treatments are discussed with the patient.

Medical Treatments for Stress Incontinence

If the source of the leakage is stress incontinence, a simple device called a pessary can be inserted into the vagina. It is a stiff ring which, when properly positioned, creates pressure on the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) through the vaginal wall. It leads to less leakage by repositioning the vagina. The doctor will go over precautions for using a pessary, and schedule regular check-ups.

Injections

Certain substances that can reshape bladder and urethra structures by adding bulk (think of collagen injections to plump lips) can be painlessly injected under local anesthesia. The doctor injects the bulking agents into areas around the bladder neck and urethra to thicken the tissues and reduce the bladder opening. Since the body tends to slowly eliminate these agents over time, repeat injections may be warranted.

Surgery

If the incontinence is the result of the bladder having slipped out of its normal position due to childbirth or other reasons, there are different surgical approaches to restructuring the bladder back to its normal place.

  • Retropubic suspension places surgical threads (sutures) in strategic locations attached to strong pelvic ligaments to support the bladder neck. Access is usually gained through an incision below the navel. It can also be done in conjunction with a hysterectomy.
  • Sling and support procedures are performed through a vaginal incision. There are different types of approaches, and different types of materials that safely cradle and support the bladder neck.

Medical Treatments for Urge Incontinence and Overactive Bladder

If the nature of the urinary incontinence is due to bladder spasms caused by abnormal nerve signals, there are special medicines to block these signals. Your doctor will want to know any other medications you take, since some drugs that control swelling or high blood pressure may have the side effect of bladder control problems. Sometimes simply switching from one drug to another alleviates the problem. As with stress incontinence, biofeedback may be helpful in locating muscles that can be strengthened and retrained.

If behavioral or medical treatments do not correct urge incontinence, a patient can be evaluated for a procedure called neuromodulation. This involves surgically implanting a device that stimulates the nerves that go from the spine to the bladder, and is often done at the time of other abdominal surgery. If other therapies have not been effective, your doctor may discuss conducting tests to determine if you are a candidate for this technique.

Schedule an Appointment in Los Angeles

If you’re experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence in the Los Angeles area, contact the specialists at Alarcon Urology Center to schedule an appointment in Montebello. Urologist J. Antonio Alarcon, MD is board-certified by the American Board of Urology and has over 35 years of urologic experience. Call (626) 284-9278 today to schedule an appointment, or submit a request online using our secure form.

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