Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects an estimated 1:4 women during their lifetime. In older women it may be one of the main reasons for leaving independent living.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects an estimated 1:4 women during their lifetime. In older women it may be one of the main reasons for leaving independent living.

Overview

There are a number of different ‘types’ of incontinence, but the main two are known as ‘stress’ and ‘urge’ incontinence.

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is characterised by leakage with coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. The amount often depends on how much is in the bladder.

Urge urinary incontinence (UUI) is preceded by a sudden need to pass urine that cannot be controlled. If the bladder is full, this can lead to a big and embarrassing leak. This can be especially bothersome as it may be quite unpredictable.

Post-menopausal incontinence Many women with incontinence after menopause have a combination of both UUI and SUI, and this can also be in combination with prolapse and other issues. Therefore the management can be complex, but some improvements can be found for most women.

Possible causes

Stress urinary incontinence often occurs during and immediately after pregnancy; many will improve in the first few months after having a baby, but not all.

Exactly what occurs during vaginal delivery isn’t entirely clear but there may be damage to fine supporting ligaments and areas of muscle that support the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside) and the back of the pubic bone.

Urge urinary incontinence occurs when the muscle wall of the bladder squeezes when it shouldn’t, and the pelvic floor is unable to react in time to prevent urine leaking out.

Some women have what is known as an ‘overactive’ bladder. In this situation, you need to go more often, go at night, and need to rush to get to the toilet. This can sometimes be associated with leakage.

UUI symptoms can sometimes be caused by infection or prolapse and we investigate these as possible causes.

Infection It is important to make sure there are no signs of infection, or rarely cancer of the bladder, before starting any treatment for an overactive bladder.

Prolapse Occasionally UUI symptoms can be found with a prolapse of the bladder, although just fixing the prolapse may not cure the symptoms and non-surgical approaches should be tried first.

What to do

Luckily there are a number of relatively simple strategies that can make a difference, and for some women, simple surgical procedures can be performed with an excellent chance of making a big difference.

If you are suffering from urinary incontinence you can be sure that you are not alone in this, and that there are a variety of treatments with a good chance of making a difference.

We can help

If you are experiencing urinary incontinence and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

There are a number of different ‘types’ of incontinence, but the main two are known as ‘stress’ and ‘urge’ incontinence.

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is characterised by leakage with coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. The amount often depends on how much is in the bladder.

Urge urinary incontinence (UUI) is preceded by a sudden need to pass urine that cannot be controlled. If the bladder is full, this can lead to a big and embarrassing leak. This can be especially bothersome as it may be quite unpredictable.

Post-menopausal incontinence Many women with incontinence after menopause have a combination of both UUI and SUI, and this can also be in combination with prolapse and other issues. Therefore the management can be complex, but some improvements can be found for most women.

Stress urinary incontinence often occurs during and immediately after pregnancy; many will improve in the first few months after having a baby, but not all.

Exactly what occurs during vaginal delivery isn’t entirely clear but there may be damage to fine supporting ligaments and areas of muscle that support the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside) and the back of the pubic bone.

Urge urinary incontinence occurs when the muscle wall of the bladder squeezes when it shouldn’t, and the pelvic floor is unable to react in time to prevent urine leaking out.

Some women have what is known as an ‘overactive’ bladder. In this situation, you need to go more often, go at night, and need to rush to get to the toilet. This can sometimes be associated with leakage.

UUI symptoms can sometimes be caused by infection or prolapse and we investigate these as possible causes.

Infection It is important to make sure there are no signs of infection, or rarely cancer of the bladder, before starting any treatment for an overactive bladder.

Prolapse Occasionally UUI symptoms can be found with a prolapse of the bladder, although just fixing the prolapse may not cure the symptoms and non-surgical approaches should be tried first.

Luckily there are a number of relatively simple strategies that can make a difference, and for some women, simple surgical procedures can be performed with an excellent chance of making a big difference.

If you are suffering from urinary incontinence you can be sure that you are not alone in this, and that there are a variety of treatments with a good chance of making a difference.

If you are experiencing urinary incontinence and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Related Conditions & Treatments

Related Conditions & Treatments

Teamwork

We all have a variety of expert skills and clinical knowledge – we work together and with our patients to achieve their treatment goals.

Up-to-date technology

We are up-to-date in terms of technology and modern methods of investigation and treatment, and continue to maintain this level of advanced service.

Minimal approach

We have the ability and expertise to manage surgical procedures using minimal access approaches. This includes using keyhole surgery wherever possible.