|ROBAAB SIDDIQUI, MD
OB/GYN, EDWARD MEDICAL GROUP
Is urinary incontinence normal?
Women may not discuss it openly, but it’s not a rare problem.
It's estimated that 25 million adult Americans experience urinary incontinence, with 75 to 80 percent of those being women. Unfortunately, many women let embarrassment or fear keep them from seeking medical treatment. "As common as incontinence is, it shouldn't be considered normal,” says Robaab Siddiqui, MD, an OB/GYN with Edward Medical Group. “Women often put off treatment for years because they're embarrassed or they're too busy. But making time for treatment is easier in the long run than dealing with pads and the other hassles of incontinence.”
In particular, urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, can cause you to feel a sudden urge to urinate that's hard to control, an involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate, a need to urinate eight or more times each day and frequent nighttime urination.
Overactive bladder can be caused by neurological disorders, medication, infections or bladder abnormalities. Normally, when your bladder fills with urine, nerve signals alert your brain that you need to urinate. When you go, nerve signals coordinate the muscles responsible for forcing the urine out. A symptom of overactive bladder is those muscles contracting involuntarily.
Treatments for overactive bladder range from physical therapy to electrical neurostimulation:
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation involves consciously contracting the muscles in the pelvis that support and help control the vagina, uterus, bladder, urethra and rectum.
- Lifestyle changes that can help reduce your symptoms include limiting caffeine and alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your fluid intake.
- Medications that relax your bladder can relieve symptoms.
- Bladder Training, where patients maintain a journal and learn how to consciously alter the bladder's schedule for storing and emptying urine.
Dr. Siddiqui practices at Edward Medical Group’s OB/GYN offices at 100 Spalding Dr. on the campus of Edward Hospital in Naperville and in Building B on the Edward Plainfield campus, 127th St. and Van Dyke Rd. in Plainfield and is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (630) 961-9485. For more information, visit http://www.edward.org/body.cfm?id=11&action=detail&ref=3095.