URINARY INCONTINENCE 4-Part Series by: Dr. Guillermo Rowe

17 Feb

Part I

Involuntary loss of urine is reportedly experienced by upwards of 95% of women in their reproductive and post-menopausal years.  This, however, does not mean that this overwhelming majority has urinary incontinence. To qualify as urinary incontinence (UI), the involuntary loss of urine must have a negative impact on the quality of the individual’s life, particularly for hygienic and/or social standpoints.  As such, the only person who can ultimately determine the presence of UI is the woman herself.

If you or someone you know is affected by loss of bladder control, you are not alone.  An estimated 15-20 million people in the United States have bladder control problems. This condition affects men and women, although it is nearly twice as common in women. The prevalence of this condition does increase with age. Fifteen to 30 percent of adults greater than 60 years of age have UI. However, this condition should not be considered a normal result of aging.

Urinary incontinence is often caused by specific changes in body function due to related or unrelated diseases and/or usage of medications that affect function of the urinary tract (e.g., diuretics or “water pills,” anti-hypertensives or “blood pressure pills”).  More often than not, UI is more of an annoyance than a sign of a life-threatening condition.  Despite the high prevalence, most people with UI are reluctant to seek help.  They might be embarrassed to acknowledge that they have a problem, even to themselves.  Or, they might have broached the issue with family members, acquaintances, and/or friends who were discouraging or suggested that no truly useful remedies exist.  Thus, many sufferers resort to dealing with the progressively worsening leakage by using the many absorbent products available, including pads and/or diapers.  This resignation often results in emotional and psychological vulnerability, including depression and social isolation. 

There is absolutely no reason for this to happen.  The good news is that 80-90% of cases can be treated successfully.  Although a complete cure may not be attainable in all cases, substantial improvement can be expected in the vast majority.  So, if you or someone you know suffers from this condition, be PROACTIVE.  Get evaluated and review treatment options appropriate to YOUR UI.  The more you know, the more confident you will be in choosing the direction of treatment. 

Below, you will find a significant amount of information on the more common causes of female urinary incontinence and associated pelvic organ prolapse (POP) conditions, including causes/predisposing factors, diagnostic evaluation, treatment options and suggestions for obtaining further information. 

Dr. Guillermo Rowe offers urinary incontinence studies in office to help determine the type and severity of incontinence.  He is also proud to offer surgical and non-surgical treatments for incontinence.  Appointments are available. Contact the office at 713-795-4800.

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