Female Incontinence Specialist in Grand Rapids MI

Across the U.S. approximately 17 million women encounter urinary incontinence in their lifetime.

Female Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is loss of control in managing the flow of urine from your body. This condition can occur in women between the ages of 18 and 60 and beyond and is usually a result of the urethra not being closed tightly to keep urine in the bladder. Women are twice as likely as men to struggle with urinary incontinence. Losing a little urine when you sneeze is frustrating enough. But if you let urinary incontinence go untreated, it can become so severe that you struggle to make it to the bathroom in time. The expert team of gynecologists at Grand Rapids OBGYN specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of female incontinence. When you call our office or request an appointment online you can get started on a urinary incontinence treatment plan right away.

What are the Symptoms of Female Urinary Incontinence?

Symptoms vary from:

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles or an inability to prevent leaking urine when exercising or other involuntary actions such as coughing or sneezing
  • Overactive bladder or an overwhelming urge to urinate that often causes them to urinate before getting to a bathroom.
  • Bladder or urinary tract infection
  • Overflow incontinence
  • Neurological issues

How does our gynecologist diagnose urinary incontinence?

Before coming in for an evaluation, we ask that a patient keep a list of their symptoms for at least a few days. Dr. Dalm needs to know:

  • How often a patient urinates
  • If the patient experiences pain
  • How much urine they leak
  • The time of the day the symptoms occur
  • The patient’s fluid intake

Plan to provide a urine sample during the exam. That allows Dr. Dalm to check for signs of infection or other abnormalities.

The patient might also be asked to urinate into a special container that measures urine. This procedure allows Dr. Dalm to evaluate how well they empty their bladder and if an obstruction might be causing the urinary incontinence.  

What are the Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can be caused by a range of different issues. Because of this, incontinence can be categorized in one of the following seven ways:

What are the Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can cause a significant decline in the quality of a woman’s life, affecting their social and professional lives and making them feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Grand Rapids OBGYN offers a range of treatments to help women in and around Grand Rapids control or even eliminate symptoms so they can lead happier, healthier lives.

Non-Surgical Treatment Alternatives

  • Behavior therapies – Behavior modification is used to train one’s bladder and sphincter muscles by decreasing fluid intake and by prompting or scheduling voiding.
  • Pelvic muscle exercises – Called Kegel exercises, these exercises commonly are intended to strengthen weak muscles surrounding the bladder.
  • Protective undergarments – Basically these are pads undergarments designed to absorb leaked urine.
  • Catheter – These tubes are inserted into the urethra to collect urine into an external drainage bag. These are generally left in place 24 hours a day.
  • External devices – Called a Pessary, this device is designed to apply pressure to help reposition the urethra permitting it to close tightly. It features a stiff ring that is inserted into the vagina to exert pressure press against the wall of the vagina and urethra.
  • Bulking injections – Bulking agents such as collagen are injected directly into the urethral lining to firm and bulk up the urethral lining so that the urethra can close more tightly. 
  • Medications – There are a number of medications to treat incontinence caused by urge to continually void. Where incontinence is stress related, there are no medications for to treat this. For incontinence caused by a combination of both urge and stress, drug therapy may be helpful in treating the urge component.

Female Incontinence Surgery

There are a number of surgical approaches to strengthen, support, elevate and/or restore the urethra and bladder. These are employed when other treatments are not working and include:

  • Retropubic Suspensions. Surgical procedures (Burch procedure) intended to restore the urethra and neck of the bladder to a higher anatomical position.
  • Slings. Procedures used to treat that treats hypermobility in which a sling is used to support the urethra when there is increased abdominal pressure.
  • Bone-fixed slings – treat incontinence by supporting the urethra with a graft material attached to the pubic bone.
  • Self-fixated slings – can be used to support the urethra and are secured in place by friction and tissue ingrowth, and require no sutures or screws.

Looking for a specialist in the Grand Rapids area who is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of female incontinence? Call (616) 247-1700 today!