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Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Reconstruction

Urinary incontinence is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine. The problem afflicts millions of adults in the United States, 85% of them being women. Men may experience a loss of bladder control as a result of prostate enlargement and the treatment of prostate cancer. Women experience incontinence more often than men as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract. Among women, the problem is most commonly associated with a specific condition called stress urinary incontinence.

What are the different types of incontinence?

Stress Incontinence – is involuntary loss of urine during physical movement (coughing, sneezing, exercising, laughing, lifting). In describing this condition the word "stress" does not refer to emotional stress, but the stress of increased physical pressure on the bladder.

Urge Incontinence – is often referred to as "overactive bladder". It is the leakage of large amounts of urine at unexpected times, including during sleep. Those with urge incontinence feel a strong uncontrollable need to urinate. They may also feel the need to urinate often.

Overflow Incontinence – is unexpected leakage of small amounts of urine because of a full bladder. The bladder may also never feel completely empty.

Mixed Incontinence – is defined as having more than one type of incontinence occur at the same time, usually the occurrence of stress and urge incontinence together.

Transient Incontinence – is the leakage that occurs temporarily because of a condition that will pass (infection, medication).
It is fairly common for both men and women of all ages to be affected by some form of urinary incontinence. Urination is a fairly complex function of various muscles and nerves. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a disruption in normal bladder control to occur. 

It’s Not Hopeless
Incontinence is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition that affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds.  Many people who suffer from incontinence isolate themselves for fear of ridicule and embarrassment.  It often seems difficulty to manage and many are mistaken that nothing can be done to correct it.  Admitting there is a problem may help individuals seek out treatment that can help them gain bladder control, renew their self-confidence and prevent social isolation.

How Therapy Can Help
At McLaren Macomb you will find a Physical Therapist that will use a conservative approach to helping you with incontinence.  We promote a self-help program of exercises and surface EMG, which is proven effective in helping many patients regain bladder control.