Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing problem. For compassionate and discreet care for this condition, patients can trust the doctors and practitioners at San Marcos Family Medicine in San Marcos, Texas, to provide real solutions. The team at San Marcos Family Medicine includes a certified incontinence therapist who provides real solutions for urinary incontinence and other urinary problems, with a commitment to treating Central Texas patients with dignity and respect.

Urinary Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a condition that causes the involuntary loss of urine, typically because of pelvic floor problems or nerve damage.

What are the types of urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence falls into one of three main categories. These are:

  • Stress incontinence: Stress incontinence causes an individual to leak urine when coughing, exercising, laughing, or having sex. This occurs because the muscles that support the bladder and urethra are weak, and can’t support the bladder properly when under stress.
  • Overactive bladder/urge incontinence: Overactive bladder/urge incontinence causes an individual to have the overwhelming need to go to the bathroom frequently, and possibly without the ability to get to the toilet in time. This occurs due to damage to the nerves that travel from the bladder to the brain.
  • Mixed incontinence: Mixed incontinence is a mixture of both types.

How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?

The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine will perform a physical exam and ask a history of the patient’s problem. They may perform a urinalysis to test for infection or an ultrasound to see the structure of the urinary system. This can help the doctor determine the cause of the incontinence problem.

Can men experience urinary incontinence?

Patients of both genders can experience this problem, though it’s more common in women. For men, incontinence tends to occur with old age, but it’s not a normal part of the aging process. Nerve damage, overactive bladder, and prostate issues are the three most common causes of incontinence in men. For women, pelvic floor weakness, often due to pregnancy and childbirth process, is the most common cause.

What treatments are available to help with urinary incontinence?

For most patients, urge urinary incontinence is treatable without the need for surgery. Behavioral changes, like scheduling trips to the bathroom, can help. Physical therapy and biofeedback to help with the control of the pelvic floor muscles may also help.

For patients with stress incontinence, pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels) are the first line of defense. Biofeedback and medication can also help. Some women benefit from having a pessary inserted into the vagina to reposition the urethra.

Acute stress incontinence requires surgical repair. The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine can help patients determine if surgery is the right course of action for their incontinence problems with the help of a certified incontinence therapist.