The Best Solutions for Female Incontinence

Female Overactive Bladder Beverly HillsEven with the most advanced medical care and preparation, childbirth is still a relatively traumatic event for a woman’s body. From the nine months leading up to the birthday to the months or even years afterward, a woman can expect to undergo dramatic changes and even injuries as a result of caring a newborn to term. While many women are able to recover fairly well within several weeks after giving birth, many are not so fortunate and struggle with chronic back pain, female incontinence, and pain during sex for a year or even longer before finally receiving the incontinence treatment they need.

As common as female incontinence may be among women with children, the majority of those suffering do not get the treatment they need and deserve. Many women either feel too embarrassed to seek help for issues stemming from childbirth or face misdiagnosis or improper treatment from the health care system. In a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine, women are often victims of “neglect, dismissal, and discrimination” when it comes to receiving expert medical care, particularly with regard to childbirth injuries and female incontinence.

At the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health, our skilled Los Angeles urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of female urological conditions. We understand the unique anatomy of the female pelvic structures and the impact that pregnancy and childbirth can have on those structures. We take a holistic approach to finding the best treatment method for each patient, incorporating acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy along with standard medical treatments, such as medication and surgery. To receive the advanced urological care you deserve for female incontinence treatment please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with our warm and compassionate team of doctors.

What are the Different Types of Female Incontinence?

Different mechanisms and underlying factors can result in unwanted loss or leakage of urine. Some factors include pregnancy and multiple childbirths, aging and menopause, neurological issues of the bladder, diabetes, etc.

Essentially, pregnancy and childbirth cause the muscles and tissue surrounding the uterus and bladder to become stretched and weakened, resulting in occasional leaks or accidents. Menopause and lack of female hormones can also result in reduces tissue support for the urethra.

The most common types of bladder incontinence women experience as a result of pregnancy or giving birth include:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is characterized by the sudden loss of urine as a result of certain activities, such as sneezing, running, coughing, laughing, or lifting something heavy, which puts pressure on the bladder. SUI usually becomes worse with menopause and frequent childbirth.
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB) or Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) is characterized by the sudden, unexpected urge to urinate frequently throughout the day and even at nighttime, disrupting sleep. Occasional, involuntary loss of urine is not uncommon.
  • Mixed Urinary Incontinence: A combination of both SUI and UUI.

Whether dealing with the occasional urine leakage accident or daily female incontinence issues that make life uncomfortable and embarrassing, your urologist can help determine the best solution to get a patient’s life back on track. Read more about urinary incontinence in women at WebMD.com.

Reliable Incontinence Treatment

At the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Beverly Hills, our board-certified urologists take a whole-body approach to ensuring that each patient achieves the best possible results. Our urologists can provide the following forms of female incontinence treatment:

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence:

  • Lifestyle Modifications – Dietary changes, scheduled bathroom use, and physical exercise such as Kegel exercises, to strengthen the core and pelvic muscles.
  • Medications – Prescription medications can calm bladder and pelvic muscles to relieve urge incontinence. Also, avoiding certain medications can help with incontinence.
  • Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and Massages – After giving birth, the pelvic muscles can become so tense that the patient loses control of her bladder and experiences pain when standing or having sex. Consistent massage can ease the tension that causes female incontinence and pain.
  • Acupuncture – Just as physical massage can release tight pelvic muscles, acupuncture can reduce the symptoms of female incontinence.

Medical Devices and Surgery

If conservative or holistic treatment options have not been successful for female incontinence treatment, our patient may benefit from the following:

  • Pessary – A device that can be inserted into the vagina or anus help support the pelvic floor muscles and the uterus, particularly in the event of vaginal prolapse.
  • Bulking Agent Injections – Collagen injections or silicone beads can be inserted around the urethra to help support the pelvic muscles that control the flow of urine.
  • Urethral Sling – Synthetic material or even grafts of the patient’s body tissue can be surgically placed around the neck of the bladder to help support the urethra and prevent stress incontinence. There are various types of slings that can be used to address each patient’s unique anatomy and needs.
  • Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS): By inserting a small needle on the inner aspect of ankle and then using low electrical currents to stimulate the Tibial nerve on a weekly basis for a period of time, PTNS can significantly improve or resolve OAB and urgency issues.
  • Sacral Nerve Stimulation – A small device, not unlike a pacemaker, can be used to deliver mild electrical impulses to the nerves that control the need to urinate. Mainly useful for refractory urgency or urge incontinence, sacral nerve stimulation help block these signals and even retrain the nerves to only signal when necessary. The stimulator device may be handheld or implanted under the skin along with the wires for the patient to control.
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repairs: Depending on the type of prolapse a number of open and minimally invasive (laparoscopic / robotic) procedures can be performed to place the female pelvic organs back into their anatomic location and provide support as much as possible.
  • Intravesical Botox® Injection: For patients with refractory urgency and urge incontinence (OAB) this option can provide significant relief and symptomatic control. Effects usually last for months and procedure can be repeated again as well.

In a Nutshell:

  • Definition: Female urinary incontinence involuntary and unwanted loss of urine (from few drops to a full bladder)
  • Types: Stress Incontinence (leakage with physical activity, coughs, sneezes, laughing, etc); Urge Incontinence (urgency to make to the bathroom and accidents if not make it in time); and Mixed Incontinence which is combination of both
  • Causes: Pregnancy and multiple vaginal deliveries, menopause, overactive bladder, neurological issues, etc
  • Treatments: multiple options based on the cause and type of incontinence. Lifestyle modification, medications (to relax the bladder), Pelvic floor physical therapy and exercises, Peripheral Tibial nerve stimulation, Surgical procedures (e.g. slings, pelvic organ prolapse repair, injection of Botox ® into the bladder, sacral nerve stimulator implantation, injection of urethral bulking agents, etc. depending on the condition)

Contact Our Female Urology Specialist Today

If you or someone you care about is struggling with urinary incontinence, whether are a result of recent childbirth or other factors, do not wait to get in touch with the urologists at the Institute of Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills. There is no need to silently suffer. Female incontinence treatment is available. Please call 310 307 3552 to get the treatment you need today.

Next, read Overcoming Interstitial Cystitis and Easing Pelvic Discomfort

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Overcoming Interstitial Cystitis and Easing Pelvic Discomfort

Los Angeles Bladder IC UrologistsIf you are one of the more than 1 million women in the U.S. currently suffering from a painful condition called interstitial cystitis (IC), you may feel that relief is simply beyond your reach. Chronic discomfort and urinary urgency may dictate your daily activities and limit your goals. Often mistaken for other urinary and pelvic pain issues, finding an effective interstitial cystitis treatment can be difficult, but there are solutions available that really do work.

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills, our urology specialists are skilled at not only diagnosing and treating female urological issues, we take a holistic approach to ensuring total health and happiness, no matter what urologic condition a patient may have. We believe that women suffering from interstitial cystitis deserve the comprehensive care they need to live their lives fully, free of pelvic pain or discomfort.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

IC is a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder that affects the bladder, urinary tract, and immune system. While men and women can be afflicted with the disorder, it most commonly occurs in women. IC shares many of the same symptoms with other pelvic or urinary conditions, such as urinary incontinence or bladder infections, but the main diagnostic criteria (which can be different among patients) include:

  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary frequency
  • Small bladder capacity
  • Bladder and lower pelvic pain
  • Hunner’s ulcers (patches of inflammation on the bladder wall on cystoscopy)

The symptoms of IC can vary widely among patients, which is why it can be so difficult to diagnose. In more severe cases, patients may experience hard bladders as scarring from frequent inflammation and ulcers makes the tissue stiff and painful.  As such, the cause of interstitial cystitis is still unknown, but researchers suggest that interstitial cystitis may develop as a result of certain irritants in the urine, previous bladder trauma, mast cell activation (where substances are leased such as histamine), as well as hormone fluctuations. These events are ultimately thought to result in the loss of the surface barrier in the bladder against irritants (urine and other chemicals) resulting in more inflammation and scarring.

For more information about interstitial cystitis, visit WebMD.com.

Exploring Treatment Options

Since interstitial cystitis can have such a wide range of symptoms, there is no one treatment that works for every single patient. Depending on the patient and the symptoms, interstitial cystitis treatments usually take a combination approach in order to relieve urinary urgency, bladder pain, or urinary frequency. A trial and error approach is often needed to find out the best combination of interstitial cystitis treatments for each patient. The IC treatment combinations may include:

Medications

Many patients are fortunate to find relief with the help of pain relievers and other medicines, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Anti-depressant medications
  • Anti-histamines
  • Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Pentosan (Elmiron ®)
  • Bladder instillations (medication solutions administered in the bladder)

Lifestyle Modification, Physical Therapy

Certain lifestyle, diet, or behavioral factors may contribute to the painful symptoms of interstitial cystitis, and therefore, making adjustments can help relieve discomfort or pelvic pain. Coffee, other caffeinated drinks, potassium-rich foods, and acidic foods can worsen the irritation in the bladder and lead to frequent urination and exacerbated IC symptoms. Many patients in Los Angeles are able to successfully manage interstitial cystitis by modifying their diets and avoiding certain foods or ingredients that trigger their symptoms.

Additionally, some patients are able to “retrain” their bladders to increase the time between having to empty their bladders. By regulating when to drink liquids and when to avoid them, patients can effectively train their bladders to hold more liquid for longer periods of time.

Lastly, tight or weak pelvic muscles can contribute to interstitial cystitis and trigger spasms of pelvic pain. Physical therapy has been known to provide much-needed relief by stretching and strengthening the muscles that cramp around the bladder.

Neuromodulation

Electrical nerve stimulators can be used to relieve pain in the lower back, pelvis, and bladder. The devices work by internally or externally stimulating the nerves that connect to the source of the pain. Stimulating these nerves can help relieve pelvic pain and tension, at least temporarily.

Surgery

In many cases, treating the painful symptoms of IC can be enough to allow a patient to continue living life as comfortably and normally as possible.

In some patients cystoscopy and hydrodistention (looking in the bladder under sedation or anesthesia with a scope and expanding it with liquid) provides not only diagnostic clues but also improves symptoms for a period of time.

Another option that has recently become available is sacral nerve stimulation (Interstim®) which involves planting small leads in the back to modulate the sacral nerves with electric currents.

In severe cases, surgery, such as removing the bladder (cystectomy) may be recommended as the last resort option.

In order to have the best chance of successfully overcoming IC and pelvic pain, it is crucial for patients to work with a dedicated and highly skilled urologist who will take the time to create a personalized treatment plan. There can be a lot of trial and error involved in determining the most effective treatments, which is why Dr. Kia Michel and his team are so highly sought after. Each patient undergoes interstitial cystitis treatment based on their unique needs and goals with care and compassion.

Contact a Skilled Urologist in Los Angeles

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in LA, our urological specialists recognize the benefits of a whole-person approach when treating female incontinence. Using a combination of traditional Western medicine and holistic Eastern methods, our physicians provide a comprehensive care plan to give our patients effective relief from pelvic pain and discomfort. If you are interested in learning more about interstitial cystitis and potential treatment options that may work for you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us at 310.307.3552 today.

In a nutshell:

  • What is it? Interstitial cystitis is a chronic and usually painful condition that affects females more than males and can have widely different presentations in different patients. It is thought to ultimately result from inflammation of the bladder wall due to loss of surface barriers allowing urine and other irritants to affect the bladder. Some symptoms may include urinary frequency and the severe urge to void, burning or pain on urination, small bladder capacity, pain or discomfort in the bladder and pelvis region, etc.
  • Diagnosis: Usually IC is a diagnosis of exclusion (of other causes that can have the same symptoms) and is done by your urologist after a full evaluation.
  • Interstitial Cystitis Treatment: Due to the complexity of symptoms and different presentations among patients, interstitial cystitis treatment has to be tailored and often involves multiple modalities. Options include lifestyle modification and diets (avoidance of certain foods e.g. acidic or potassium-rich foods), medications (pain killers, anti-inflammatories, pentosan, anti-histamines, etc), surgical procedures (cystscopy, bladder distention, sacral nerve stimulator, etc).
  • IC can have a significant negative impact on quality of life and a thorough approach tailored to each patient by your urologist is the key to finding relief from pelvic pain and taking control of your life again.

Next, read Incontinence Before and After Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

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Incontinence Before and After Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Motherhood Bladder Control Specialists LAThe hormones involved in pregnancy can cause significant physiological changes to a woman’s body. In addition to nausea (morning sickness) and fluctuating emotions, many women experience what can feel like a near constant urge to urinate, as well as leaks following simple motions like sneezing, laughing, and coughing. Even walking can trigger stress incontinence for some pregnant women.

Why are Pregnant Women More at Risk of Developing Incontinence?

Surging hormones and pressure on the bladder can interfere with the natural urination process. These make pregnant women and women who have given birth more susceptible to some form of stress and urge incontinence.

Stress Incontinence in Pregnant Women

Occurs when there is pressure on the bladder from movements like walking, coughing, sneezing, or laughing. In pregnant women, the surge in hormones and additional weight can contribute to added stress on the bladder.

Urge Incontinence in Pregnant Women

This type causes a very sudden and overwhelming need to urinate, with little to no warning, which can sometimes lead to leaks and possibly emptying the bladder before the person can get to a bathroom.

Some people in LA experience what is known as mixed incontinence, which causes urine leakage and loss of bladder control as a result of both stress and urge incontinence.

Learn more about incontinence during pregnancy at webmd.com.

Tips to Help Prevent and Manage Pregnancy Incontinence

Most if not all pregnant women are likely to experience some form of urine leakage and bladder control problems during and after pregnancy. While the problem is not always preventable, there are steps that all women can take to help minimize the risk.

  • Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy – The health dangers of excessive weight gain and obesity for pregnant women and the general population have been gaining increasing attention in recent years, and for good reason. From heart disease to diabetes, obesity has become a national health epidemic that puts the lives of millions of American children and adults at risk. For pregnant women, obesity can lead to potentially serious conditions like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infections, and complications with labor. It can also increase the risk of incontinence.
  • Plan ahead – The thought of scheduling bathroom breaks may sound pointless or counterintuitive when dealing with incontinence, which can feel uncontrollable under normal circumstances but especially during pregnancy, can actually help to manage the risk of accidents.
  • Strengthen the pelvic muscles – Urological problems like urinary incontinence and vaginal prolapse after childbirth result from weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Practicing contracting the muscles that control the flow of urine (Kegel exercises) can be helpful in some cases.
  • Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help – Incontinence can be a delicate and awkward condition to discuss, even with a doctor. With women twice as likely to be affected as men, seeking help from a urologist is the first step in finding relief. The Los Angeles urologists at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health specialize in urology care for female patients and their unique needs and concerns. Diagnosis and treatment in a compassionate, understanding environment can help ease the stigma and reluctance to seek treatment for the millions of women estimated to suffer in silence from some form of urinary incontinence.

Does Incontinence End After Pregnancy?

The symptoms and duration vary from person to person and depend on the anatomy and health of each person. If symptoms persist after pregnancy, schedule an appointment with a urologist to discuss appropriate incontinence treatment options, which can range from behavior modification to urological devices and surgery, depending on each patient’s individual circumstances.

Can Urine Leakage Be Treated?

The urology team at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Los Angeles has designed a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to helping women get their lives back and return to normal activities without the fear or anxiety involved with bladder control problems. There is a range of incontinence treatment options for female patients, ranging from medication, surgery, non-surgical treatments like physical therapy and strength training, and holistic treatments, which can be especially of interest to pregnant women suffering from urine leakage. In addition to potentially helping to ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder during pregnancy, holistic treatments like meditation and acupuncture can help to relieve feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety for expectant mothers.

Contact a Beverly Hills Urologist for Female Incontinence Treatment

The anxiety, discomfort, and inconvenience that often accompany bladder control problems can be disruptive, and compromise daily routines and overall quality of life. Because of the sensitive nature of the condition, many women can feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. To learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for incontinence and other female urological conditions, contact the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health by calling 310-307-3552 to schedule a consultation with a board certified urologist today.

Next, read What are the Treatment Options for Female Urinary Incontinence?

The post Incontinence Before and After Pregnancy: What You Need to Know appeared first on IncontinenceDr.

Hackers Leak Over 150 GB of Sensitive Patient Data From Ohio Urology Clinics

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The US healthcare hacking spree continues as a group of hackers reportedly leaked a massive amount of sensitive patient data and internal documents. The data dump, which reportedly consists of over 100,000 stolen files, includes names, addresses, phone numbers and date of birth.

Over 150 GB of data from the Central Ohio Urology Group was leaked on Twitter by suspected Ukrainian-linked hackers using the pseudonym Pravvy Sector, according to reports. The leaked data also allegedly includes information on the kind of treatments patients received, such as renal ultrasound and sperm count. Several files also revealed the names of the insurance companies that patients were registered with.

Israeli data mining firm Hacked-DB, which is reportedly investigating the breach, told HackRead: “This is the Hacking Team sort of data breach, so it is huge and it will take a while to come up with complete results.”

 

Read more on… Hackers Leak Over 150 GB of Sensitive Patient Data From Ohio Urology Clinics

Author: India Ashok