Innovation || Excellence || Experience

Urinary Frequency and Urgency Disorders

Overactive bladder affects men and women equally. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported that approximately 13 million people in the United States suffer from OAB and other forms of incontinence.

Learn More About Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Various treatments are available to successfully treat urinary incontinence. Many cases can be helped with behavior changes, such as:

  • Urinating regularly.
  • Avoiding or relieving constipation.
  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent urine from becoming concentrated and irritating the bladder.
  • Avoiding bladder irritants like caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, or alcohol.
  • Certain medications, or a combination of medications, are often helpful with some types of incontinence.

Bladder training techniques can help with some kinds of incontinence.

These techniques involve:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Biofeedback.

Patients look at a gauge that monitors muscle activity in order to learn how to control or relax the appropriate muscles

In cases of stress incontinence, estrogen cream to the vagina or estrogen tablets may improve the urethra’s elasticity and relieve symptoms.

The doctors at Metrowest Urology may recommend surgery for severe, persistent cases.

Several new, minimally invasive outpatient procedures have proven to be promising and effective in lifting the bladder and strengthen the outflow passage.

Overflow incontinence can often be managed by applying gentle pressure on the lower abdomen to fully empty the bladder during urination. In some instances, self-catheterization of the bladder is necessary to drain the bladder and prevent complications, such as recurring infections or kidney damage. Total incontinence usually requires corrective surgery.

There are various procedures that work well for this type of incontinence, including the placement of a urethral sphincter that provides complete control. When psychogenic incontinence is diagnosed, a combination of psychotherapy, behavior modifications, and medications are often effective.

There are several types of urinary incontinence.

  • Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence that women experience. It results in a leakage of urine, usually in small bursts, when abdominal pressure increases due to coughing, laughter, straining, sneezing, or lifting a heavy object. Weakness of the urinary sphincter–the muscle that controls urine flow–can cause stress incontinence. The problem can also be caused by a lowered resistance to urine flow through the urethra, usually due to an estrogen deficiency. Anatomic changes caused by multiple childbirths or pelvic surgery may also lead to stress incontinence.
  • Urge incontinence is defined as the inability to delay urination for more than a few minutes once the person senses the need to urinate. This type of incontinence is most often caused by a urinary tract infection, but it can also develop due to an overactive bladder, an obstruction of urine flow, bladder stones and tumors, or some medications–especially diuretics.
  • Overflow incontinence happens when urine accumulates in the bladder to the extent that the urinary sphincter cannot hold it. Urine leaks intermittently, often without bladder sensation. Women develop this type of incontinence when bladder muscles are weakened. Nerve malfunction and certain drugs can also cause overflow incontinence.
  • Total incontinence is marked by continual leakage because the urinary sphincter will not close. This can happen when the bladder is injured in an accident or following surgery.
  • Psychogenic incontinence is a loss of urine control for psychological reasons, usually emotional disturbances or depression.
  • Mixed incontinence is a combination of different types of incontinence due to a variety of causes. Many women experience a mix of stress and urge incontinence, for example.

To recommend the most effective treatment, a urologist will establish the type of incontinence you have. The doctor will discuss whether your incontinence began suddenly or developed gradually and ask about your specific symptoms. The doctor will also perform a physical exam and conduct some tests.

  • Urinalysis will help detect a number of changes including any infections or the presence of blood.
  • A bladder scanner measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
  • A urodynamic evaluation measures bladder/sphincter/urethral pressure at rest and while filling with urine.
  • A uroflow test measures the rate of urination.
  • A cystoscopy determines the presence of bladder polyps, scarring, tumors, or stones.
  • In cases of female stress incontinence, the doctor assesses urine loss with coughing or straining.
  • For women, a pelvic exam helps determine the degree of elasticity along the urethral and vaginal canal. Decreasing levels of estrogen can cause decreased elasticity. It will also help diagnose a cystocele, rectocele, or prolapsed uterus.

Various treatments are available to successfully treat urinary incontinence. Many cases can be helped with behavior changes, such as:

  • Urinating regularly.
  • Avoiding or relieving constipation.
  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent urine from becoming concentrated and irritating the bladder.
  • Avoiding bladder irritants like caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, or alcohol.
  • Certain medications, or a combination of medications, are often helpful with some types of incontinence.

Bladder training techniques can help with some kinds of incontinence.

These techniques involve:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Biofeedback.

Patients look at a gauge that monitors muscle activity in order to learn how to control or relax the appropriate muscles

In cases of stress incontinence, estrogen cream to the vagina or estrogen tablets may improve the urethra’s elasticity and relieve symptoms.

The doctors at Metrowest Urology may recommend surgery for severe, persistent cases.

Several new, minimally invasive outpatient procedures have proven to be promising and effective in lifting the bladder and strengthen the outflow passage.

Overflow incontinence can often be managed by applying gentle pressure on the lower abdomen to fully empty the bladder during urination. In some instances, self-catheterization of the bladder is necessary to drain the bladder and prevent complications, such as recurring infections or kidney damage. Total incontinence usually requires corrective surgery.

There are various procedures that work well for this type of incontinence, including the placement of a urethral sphincter that provides complete control. When psychogenic incontinence is diagnosed, a combination of psychotherapy, behavior modifications, and medications are often effective.

Women are twice as likely as men to experience the frustrating, embarrassing problem of urinary incontinence. People tend to suffer in silence with incontinence because they are afraid or ashamed to tell their doctor or because they believe incontinence is a normal part of the aging process. Most symptoms of urinary incontinence can be improved or corrected with the help of a urologist.

Learn More About Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Various treatments are available to successfully treat urinary incontinence. Many cases can be helped with behavior changes, such as:

  • Urinating regularly.
  • Avoiding or relieving constipation.
  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent urine from becoming concentrated and irritating the bladder.
  • Avoiding bladder irritants like caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, or alcohol.
  • Certain medications, or a combination of medications, are often helpful with some types of incontinence.

Bladder training techniques can help with some kinds of incontinence.

These techniques involve:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Biofeedback.

Patients look at a gauge that monitors muscle activity in order to learn how to control or relax the appropriate muscles

In cases of stress incontinence, estrogen cream to the vagina or estrogen tablets may improve the urethra’s elasticity and relieve symptoms.

The doctors at Metrowest Urology may recommend surgery for severe, persistent cases.

Several new, minimally invasive outpatient procedures have proven to be promising and effective in lifting the bladder and strengthen the outflow passage.

Overflow incontinence can often be managed by applying gentle pressure on the lower abdomen to fully empty the bladder during urination. In some instances, self-catheterization of the bladder is necessary to drain the bladder and prevent complications, such as recurring infections or kidney damage. Total incontinence usually requires corrective surgery.

There are various procedures that work well for this type of incontinence, including the placement of a urethral sphincter that provides complete control. When psychogenic incontinence is diagnosed, a combination of psychotherapy, behavior modifications, and medications are often effective.

There are several types of urinary incontinence.

  • Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence that women experience. It results in a leakage of urine, usually in small bursts, when abdominal pressure increases due to coughing, laughter, straining, sneezing, or lifting a heavy object. Weakness of the urinary sphincter–the muscle that controls urine flow–can cause stress incontinence. The problem can also be caused by a lowered resistance to urine flow through the urethra, usually due to an estrogen deficiency. Anatomic changes caused by multiple childbirths or pelvic surgery may also lead to stress incontinence.
  • Urge incontinence is defined as the inability to delay urination for more than a few minutes once the person senses the need to urinate. This type of incontinence is most often caused by a urinary tract infection, but it can also develop due to an overactive bladder, an obstruction of urine flow, bladder stones and tumors, or some medications–especially diuretics.
  • Overflow incontinence happens when urine accumulates in the bladder to the extent that the urinary sphincter cannot hold it. Urine leaks intermittently, often without bladder sensation. Women develop this type of incontinence when bladder muscles are weakened. Nerve malfunction and certain drugs can also cause overflow incontinence.
  • Total incontinence is marked by continual leakage because the urinary sphincter will not close. This can happen when the bladder is injured in an accident or following surgery.
  • Psychogenic incontinence is a loss of urine control for psychological reasons, usually emotional disturbances or depression.
  • Mixed incontinence is a combination of different types of incontinence due to a variety of causes. Many women experience a mix of stress and urge incontinence, for example.

To recommend the most effective treatment, a urologist will establish the type of incontinence you have. The doctor will discuss whether your incontinence began suddenly or developed gradually and ask about your specific symptoms. The doctor will also perform a physical exam and conduct some tests.

  • Urinalysis will help detect a number of changes including any infections or the presence of blood.
  • A bladder scanner measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
  • A urodynamic evaluation measures bladder/sphincter/urethral pressure at rest and while filling with urine.
  • A uroflow test measures the rate of urination.
  • A cystoscopy determines the presence of bladder polyps, scarring, tumors, or stones.
  • In cases of female stress incontinence, the doctor assesses urine loss with coughing or straining.
  • For women, a pelvic exam helps determine the degree of elasticity along the urethral and vaginal canal. Decreasing levels of estrogen can cause decreased elasticity. It will also help diagnose a cystocele, rectocele, or prolapsed uterus.

Various treatments are available to successfully treat urinary incontinence. Many cases can be helped with behavior changes, such as:

  • Urinating regularly.
  • Avoiding or relieving constipation.
  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent urine from becoming concentrated and irritating the bladder.
  • Avoiding bladder irritants like caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, or alcohol.
  • Certain medications, or a combination of medications, are often helpful with some types of incontinence.

Bladder training techniques can help with some kinds of incontinence.

These techniques involve:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Biofeedback.

Patients look at a gauge that monitors muscle activity in order to learn how to control or relax the appropriate muscles

In cases of stress incontinence, estrogen cream to the vagina or estrogen tablets may improve the urethra’s elasticity and relieve symptoms.

The doctors at Metrowest Urology may recommend surgery for severe, persistent cases.

Several new, minimally invasive outpatient procedures have proven to be promising and effective in lifting the bladder and strengthen the outflow passage.

Overflow incontinence can often be managed by applying gentle pressure on the lower abdomen to fully empty the bladder during urination. In some instances, self-catheterization of the bladder is necessary to drain the bladder and prevent complications, such as recurring infections or kidney damage. Total incontinence usually requires corrective surgery.

There are various procedures that work well for this type of incontinence, including the placement of a urethral sphincter that provides complete control. When psychogenic incontinence is diagnosed, a combination of psychotherapy, behavior modifications, and medications are often effective.

Don't Suffer Any Longer.

Get Help.