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Urinary Incontinence

icon depicting urinary incontinence

Do you leak a bit of urine every time you cough, sneeze, exercise, or laugh?  You aren’t alone.  Urinary incontinence (UI), or the involuntary leakage of urine, affects approximately 1 out of every 4 women over the age of 45.  Many people think urinary incontinence is just part of getting older.  But it’s not. Under the expert care of your physician at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare, incontinence can be prevented, better managed, and even cured.

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control that is commonly seen in older adults and women who have given birth or gone through menopause. When you have incontinence, you may experience occasional urine leakage or the complete inability to control urination.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence

Passing urine frequently and the urgent need to pass urine are the most common incontinence symptoms. Other symptoms include:

  • Leakage of urine with coughs, sneezes, or exercise
  • Leakage of urine without any warning or urge
  • Waking up several times a night to urinate
  • Urinating during sleep
  • Frequent urinary tract infections 

What causes bladder control problems in women?

Although women can experience urinary incontinence during their life, the frequency of UI tends to occur more often in women who are pregnant, giving birth or going through menopause. 

  • Menopause and bladder control: As you go through menopause, it may become harder to control your bladder. A loss of estrogen can cause your vaginal tissue and the lining of your urethra to become thinner and bladder floor to weaken.  Weakening of the pelvic support structures can lead to pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which one or more organs of the pelvic area (bladder, uterus, or bowel) drops out of place. Prolapsed organs cannot heal themselves, and most worsen over time.
  • Urinary incontinence before and after pregnancy: When you are pregnant, pelvic floor muscles are working overtime to accommodate a growing baby.  As your baby grows, he or she pushes down on your bladder, urethra and pelvic floor muscles. This pressure can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and lead to a leaky bladder. Giving birth vaginally can also stretch and weaken the muscles that support bladder control. The good news is most bladder leakage or control problems go away after childbirth when the muscles have had time to heal.

Treatments for urinary incontinence

Depending on the type of incontinence you have, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor
  • Medications to help an overactive bladder
  • Hormone therapy to help improve UI symptoms
  • Pessary device that holds pelvic organs in place
  • Surgical restructuring of pelvic support

Help for urinary incontinence in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Urinary incontinence is not just a medical problem; it can take a toll on you emotionally, psychologically, and socially.  If you’re tired of being embarrassed by unexpected bladder leaks, know that you don’t have to live life like that any longer.  The physicians at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare can diagnose and treat your urinary incontinence issues and help restore your quality of life. Schedule your appointment by contacting our office online, through MyOchsner, or by phone (225) 201-2010.

New Patients

If you are a first-time patient of Louisiana Women’s Healthcare, please follow the instructions below to schedule an appointment with your preferred LWH physician. 

  • To view appointment availability for all LWH physicians who are currently accepting NEW patients, click the  “Show more appointment times” button.  
  • To search for a specific LWH physician and/or preferred appointment date, click “Filters” or “Edit” to further customize your search. 
  • If you do not see your preferred physician or appointment time, please call 225.201.2010 for personalized assistance.