Female urinary incontinence is defined as the inability to control urination. More often than not it is a temporary urological problem, but for some women it can last for years. Rather than risk the embarrassment of having an accident in front of others, many women with incontinence urology problems withdrawal from social activities they once enjoyed, while others feel forced to wear maxi pads every day and diapers every night. At Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona, there are a variety of treatments available that can help restore urinary continence and provide a better quality of life.
Sometimes waste byproducts in the urine do not dissolve completely and develop from microscopic particles or crystals into kidney stones over time. Stones that move down into the ureter, get stuck in the passage, and cause excruciating pain are referred to as ureteric stones. Cancerous (malignant) cells can develop in the lining of the kidney’s tubules and grow into a mass called a tumor, which is known as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. At Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona, we specialize in the field of urogynecology and believe that early detection and diagnosis of these and other female urological problems, such as those listed below are important in providing patients with effective treatment options.
To understand the causes of female incontinence, it is important to know how the bladder normally functions in women. The sphincter muscle (located below the bladder, surrounding the urethra) tightens to hold urine in the bladder and relaxes to allow the bladder to contract and the urethra to open for urination. Generally speaking, incontinence occurs because weakened or damaged pelvic muscles and tissue prevent the urethra from closing tightly enough to hold urine in the bladder. To effectively diagnose and treat female urinary incontinence, the urogynecologists at Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona first determine the cause. Weakened or damaged pelvic muscles and tissue can be the result of pregnancy and vaginal childbirth, aging, and/or genetics. Other causes that contribute to worsening incontinence include certain medical conditions, like spinal cord problems and diabetes, infections and medications, obesity, and smoking.
For women who want to restore their continence instead of just managing it, there are treatment options that vary in invasiveness and effectiveness. The female urinary incontinence treatment options available at Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona include: drug therapy, behavior modification techniques, pelvic muscle (or Kegel) exercises, bulking injections, external ring devices, catheters, and surgical procedures such as retropublic suspension surgery and surgery to implant bone-fixated or self-fixating slings. With the right treatment, these female urological problems can be effectively treated, and often cured. The urogynecologists at Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona will evaluate the severity of your incontinence and help you find the best way to stop living in isolation and start enjoying life once again, without constant interruption and with the confidence continence can bring.