Bladder/Urinary Problems

Urinary Retention

Urinary Retention can occur for many reasons. If you cannot pass urine, it can cause severe abdominal, pelvic and back pain.

Many times this is an emergency situation and needs to be treated by having a urethral catheter inserted. The catheter may be left in place to allow for constant urine drainage.

You also may have urinary retention in a much less serious situation, for example if you do not fully empty your bladder when you urinate. If you may have this type of urinary retention, your physician may have you go to the bathroom, and then will do a bladder scan (similar to an ultrasound) to see if there is any residual urine in your bladder. It can be treated with medicine, biofeedback or, in severe cases, Interstim

Urinary Incontinence (Male and Female)

Urinary incontinence is the inability to hold your urine in your bladder. This can happen to men and women, although women are more likely to develop it. It is a common condition. There are several causes for incontinence and many ways to treat it.

Incontinence can become severe enough that it can impact your daily life. Many people find that they stop being as physically active, they stop traveling or being social, some have intimacy issues with their significant other, and even some note they have issues with their professional life.

There are many treatments available to lessen, if not cure, this problem. Talk to your physician and get the help you need.

There are four types of incontinence:

  • Stress. This is unintentional leaking when putting pressure on the bladder by picking up something heavy, exercising, changing positions, coughing, sneezing or laughing.
  • Urge. This is when you feel you have to urinate, make the choice to head to the restroom, and on the way you leak urine. Rarely can these patients make it to the restroom quickly enough without leaking urine.
  • Mixed. This is a combination of stress and urge. This can occur due to the bladder being unable to hold the volume of urine your body produces.
  • Overflow. This is leaking that results due to a bladder that never completely empties. There can be multiple reasons this happens.

Treatment options at Memorial

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are exercises of the pelvic floor muscles. These can be done anywhere at anytime. These exercises are generally recommended prior to any medical or surgical intervention.

Biofeedback of the Pelvic Floor Muscles

This therapy teaches patients how to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles. There are electronic and mechanical measuring devices that help a patient visualize how these muscles are responding to their mental signals. The contraction and relaxation phases are graphed on a computer screen in real time. Usually, biofeedback is done once a week for a six- to eight-week treatment plan, with home exercises.

InterStim Therapy

Interstim is a first and second phase nerve stimulation therapy for bladder disorders and pelvic pain. It is an FDA-approved procedure, which has been shown to help women with urinary retention and overactive bladder. Learn more about Interstim.

TVT (transvaginal tape) Sling

TVT (transvaginal tape) sling is a treatment that may be recommended by your physician to treat stress incontinence with a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.

The TVT procedure is done under general anesthesia, and you will also be given local numbing medication. It takes around 30 minutes. Recovery is around two to six weeks, and usually the incontinence is either gone or much less severe after the TVT sling is in place. Pain after the procedure is minimal.

Single Incision Sling

A single incision sling is a treatment that can be recommended by your physician to treat stress incontinence. It only requires your provider to make a 1.5-centimeter vaginal incision to insert the sling under the urethra. There are no external incisions. The limited incision can potentially decrease pain and post-procedure recovery time.

Most patients can return to work within a few days, with a restriction on lifting and intercourse for four to six weeks. As with all treatment plans, your physician should discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan for your situation.