Simon Weiss, MD
Prestige OB/GYN Miramar
1951 SW 172nd Ave. Ste. 405
Miramar, FL 33029
Prestige OB/GYN Hollywood
5740 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, FL 33021
Urinary incontinence, or leakage of urine, is a common gynecologic problem that many women face. It is estimated that up to 50% of women experience some level of incontinence at some point in their lives. Often, women go untreated because of fear or embarrassment about the subject. Although urinary incontinence is not life-threatening, it can lead to other issues such as anxiety, depression, and infections of the vulva and perineum. Certain factors contribute to the development of urinary incontinence such as obesity, older age, number of births, and mode of delivery. For example, women who have had multiple vaginal deliveries are more prone to urinary incontinence. Less common causes of urinary incontinence may include neurologic disorders or cancer.
There are different types of urinary incontinence; the main ones being stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Stress incontinence involves leaking urine with stress such as coughing, sneezing, or exercise. Urge incontinence happens when a person leaks urine when they feel the urge to urinate. Overflow incontinence results in persistent leaking of urine due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. A combination of symptoms of stress incontinence and urge incontinence is called mixed incontinence.
Evaluation of urinary incontinence involves a complete history and physical examination. Lab work will usually include a urinalysis and urine culture to rule out urinary tract infection as a cause. Additional tests may include a bladder stress test or a urodynamic test. These tests help classify the type of incontinence present. For cases in which incomplete bladder emptying is suspected, a post void residual can be done. This is a test in which the remaining volume of urine in the bladder is checked after urinating.
If you feel that you have a problem with urinary incontinence, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need referral to a urologist or a urogynecologist.