Urinary Incontinence – Its Types and its Treatments

  • July 12, 2023
  • Menopause
  • MonaLisa Touch
  • Vaginal Health
  • Women's Health

Urinary Incontinence – Its Types and its Treatments

Throughout the journey of womanhood, our bodies undergo continuous changes as we progress life through different stages. During these transitions, seeking assistance from medical professionals can be essential to restore our health and ensure a high quality of life.

Urinary incontinence is one condition that many women experience as they age, with approximately 38% of Australian women being affected at some point in their lives.

Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause increase a woman’s risk of developing urinary incontinence, and Northside Gynaecology is passionate about meeting your needs and providing effective treatment options at our Kedron-based Her Wellness Clinic and North Lakes clinic.

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a condition where an individual experiences reduced bladder control; there is the involuntary loss of urine from the bladder. This condition can be a temporary or chronic problem and ranges in severity from small leaks to strong urges.

Temporary conditions are generally caused by diet, whereas persistent cases result from physical changes, including aging, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can be affected by this condition, but it is more common in women and older adults. There are numerous types of urinary incontinence, marked by varying symptoms and severity.

Stress Incontinence

This type of incontinence occurs when the bladder is under pressure from physical activity, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. It is the most prevalent form of incontinence in women and is often caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is experienced when there is a sudden and intense urge to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Individuals affected by urge incontinence often feel the need to urinate regularly, and throughout the night. This condition is also known as overactive bladder and can be caused by various factors of ranging implications, including bladder inflammation, nerve damage, or muscle spasms.

Overflow Incontinence

This incontinence form refers to when the bladder is unable to empty completely, causing urine to leak out frequently or constantly. This can be caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract or weak bladder muscles.

Functional Incontinence

This refers to an inability to reach the toilet before you begin urinating, due to physical or mental impairments. As an example, individuals with arthritis may experience difficulties unbuttoning their clothing before urination begins. People may also have a disability which means they cannot recognise when they need to urinate.

Mixed Incontinence

Here, an individual experiences a combination of two or more types of incontinence. Most frequently, individuals simultaneously experience stress and urge incontinence.

Should I Visit a Specialist?

Talking about urinary incontinence symptoms can feel embarrassing and awkward. It’s important to remember that doctors and women’s health professionals are here to support you, and often, have heard it all!

You should visit your GP if your urinary symptoms are:

  • affecting your quality of life
  • causing you to reduce or carefully manage social activities and interactions
  • increasing the likelihood of falls when hurrying to the bathroom
  • paired with additional health concerns

Request a referral to Northside Gynaecology, and our specialists will assess your condition, conclude which form of urinary incontinence you are experiencing, and recommend effective treatment options suited to your condition.

Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

At Northside Gynaecology, we provide numerous treatment options for urinary incontinence to benefit our patients’ health and well-being. We provide urinary incontinence services at our Kedron-based Her Wellness Clinic, which promotes holistic, evidence-based women’s health care. Relevant services include MonaLisa Touch, and services provided by our exercise physiologist and pelvic floor physiotherapist. MonaLisa Touch is now offered at our North Lakes clinic as well!

MonaLisa Touch

MonaLisa Touch is a type of laser therapy used to treat vaginal symptoms commonly associated with menopause, including urinary incontinence.

This treatment works by delivering gentle laser energy to the vaginal tissues, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which can help restore the vaginal lining's elasticity and moisture levels. The procedure is minimally invasive, performed without the need for anaesthesia, and involves three treatments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, each lasting between 5 and 10 minutes. An additional treatment is often required after 12 months.

MonaLisa Touch is a safe and effective means of improving vaginal health and reducing the symptoms of urinary incontinence. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, and it is essential to discuss your medical history with our specialists before undergoing treatment.

Our team offers MonaLisa Touch at both Kedron’s Her Wellness Clinic, and now at our North Lakes clinic.

Exercise Physiologist

Our exercise physiologist, Nicole Saxby, provides quality services to combat urinary incontinence. Specifically, she provides individualised exercise recommendations and plans suited to a patient’s specific condition and goals.

Specialised Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

At Her Wellness Clinic, we also offer the services of Jenny Boyce, our specialised pelvic floor physiotherapist. Childbirth and menopause often result in weakened pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to urinary incontinence. Jenny Boyce helps patients strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and regain urinary control.

Contact Northside Gynaecology today to receive evidence-based, compassionate support for urinary incontinence.

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