Urinary incontinence is a common women’s health problem where urine involuntarily leaks from the bladder. Incontinence symptoms can range from mild leakage after a sneeze or laugh, to an inability to hold urine. One type of urinary incontinence is overactive bladder, also referred to as urge incontinence, which is the sudden feeling of needing to urinate. This frustrating condition can often cause embarrassment. At Scripps, our physicians want you to feel comfortable discussing your incontinence and overactive bladder symptoms so you can get a more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment.
Urinary incontinence is caused by weak muscles or damage to the nerves along the urinary tract. This can be a result of weight gain or childbirth, both of which stretch the muscles in the pelvic area causing weakness or uterine prolapse. Scripps offers a pelvic floor rehabilitation program to reduce urinary incontinence symptoms, particularly those associated with uterine prolapse.
Pelvic floor physical therapy treatments include:
- Nutrition counseling for foods that increase overactive bladder symptoms
- Physical therapy treatments including computer-assisted biofeedback
- Electrical stimulation to improve muscle tone
- Bladder training to prevent urinary incontinence leakage
- Pelvic floor exercises including Kegel exercises
- Muscle strengthening and relaxation training
- Internal and external stretching and release techniques
- Manual therapy
Another treatment option for overactive bladders is percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). This office-based treatment is used to improve bladder control and reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence. This low-risk procedure involves a tiny needle is inserted near the tibial nerve in the lower leg that conducts electrical impulses to the nerves that control bladder function. PTNS for overactive bladder is performed once a week for approximately 12 weeks. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes. The remaining sessions are scheduled as needed. PTNS is available at Scripps Clinic. Call 858-764-9080 to schedule an appointment.
If your incontinence or overactive bladder is caused by uterine prolapse, minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgery options are available to restore the uterus to its proper position.