Lakeview Health System
“I just can’t get there fast enough. On my way to the bathroom, I start to go.”

“I leak small amounts of urine throughout the day.”

Could this be you? If so, you may be dealing with urinary continence — also known as the involuntary release of urine from the bladder. This condition affects some 20 million Americans, most of whom are women. Actually, the number may be much higher as many people just “live” with the problem because they are simply too embarrassed to discuss it or they feel it is a normal part of aging. They feel that their only choice is to wear pads to prevent an embarrassing accident.

But urinary incontinence is NOT something to be embarrassed about nor is it a normal part of aging. It’s actually a symptom of another underlying problem, which can usually be corrected. Our clinic staff can help you solve the problem and enjoy a more active lifestyle.

It is important to understand the different types and causes of urinary incontinence:
  • Stress incontinence: Caused by pelvic muscle weakening, sometimes a consequence of childbearing, post-menopausal estrogen deficiency, major pelvic surgery or other conditions that affect the muscle that controls urination. Stress incontinence is characterized by leakage of urine when sneezing, coughing, laughing, or running.
  • Urge incontinence (overactive bladder): A sudden, severe urge to empty your bladder that results in involuntary urination. This may be due do a bladder infection, bladder irritation from stones or cancer, excessive caffeine intake, nerve damage to the bladder or other factors.
  • Overflow incontinence: This type of incontinence is recognized by a constant dribble of urine and the bladder does not empty completely. This may result from a neurological condition or a dropped bladder.
  • Functional incontinence: This may be due to impaired mobility, diminished mental function in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, or other dementia or environmental barriers.
  • Drugs-related incontinence: Some drugs can cause incontinence.

Here at the Women's Center, we use state-of-the-art Urodynamics equipment to evaluate the cause of your symptoms. It is a study that assesses how the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine. Some of the studies we can perform with this equipment include: cystometry, Valsalva leak-point pressure, urethral pressure, pressure flow, and uroflow studies.

Urodynamics testing helps your doctor or nurse see how well your bladder and sphincter muscles work and can help explain symptoms such as:

  • incontinence
  • frequent urination
  • sudden, strong urges to urinate
  • problems starting a urine stream
  • painful urination
  • problems emptying your bladder completely
  • recurrent urinary tract infections

Tell your healthcare provider if you’re having any symptoms. Urinary incontinence can be treated successfully and Stillwater Medical Group's Women's Center physicians are here to help diagnose and treat your condition.

Cystometry is a series of tests that measure the pressure inside of the bladder to see how well the bladder is working. Cystometry is done to find the cause of problems with the bladder or the muscle that holds urine in the bladder (bladder sphincter). Problems in one or both of these areas may cause leakage urination, a feeling that you have to urinate, or a weak urine stream. This test also measures how much urine your bladder can store and how much urine remains in your bladder after you feel you have completely emptied it (residual volume).