Lakeview Health System
Got Leaks?

Got Leaks? 
David Henly, MD and Robert O. Hildebrandt, MD, FACOG

 Is more than your roof leaking? Do you have to cross your legs when you laugh, cough or sneeze? At Stillwater Medical Group, our gynecology and urology departments are committed to helping women not only discuss, but find ways to effectively manage their pelvic floor symptoms and problems with urinary leakage or pelvic organ prolapse.

In urology the focus is on urinary incontinence, which is the loss of bladder control. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time. Urinary incontinence is not a disease; it is a symptom.  There are many possible causes that range from simple lifestyle habits and medications to infections or more complex neurologic diseases. 

The symptoms of incontinence can have profound effects on both your overall health and your lifestyle.  The two main types of incontinence are “urge” and “stress.”  Urge incontinence results from an overactive bladder.  Stress incontinence typically results from diminished pelvic floor musculature function.  Some women also have “mixed” incontinence – both urge and stress.  The urologic evaluation is geared towards an individual patient’s symptoms and needs.The evaluation for urinary incontinence starts with a conversation with your doctor about all the specifics of your symptoms.  A brief physical examination, ultrasound determination of the bladder emptying, as well as urine lab tests usually happen on the first visit. 

The initial treatments usually revolve around behavioral changes: lifestyle changes, bladder retraining, diet and fluid awareness and pelvic floor exercise techniques.  The urologists and More complex diagnostic evaluations and treatment such as urodynamics (pressure study testing on the bladder to determine how it “behaves” with filling and emptying) cystoscopy or more comprehensive biofeedback, pelvic floor muscle training and physical therapy may be suggested. These management approaches are supplemented by medication.

If a surgical approach is required, there are a variety of options.  For urge incontinence, the trial of an Interstim device (a type of “pacemaker” for the bladder) or treatment with Botox injections of the bladder are available.  For stress incontinence, “sling” procedures or urethral “bulking” procedures can be extremely helpful. 

These techniques will be discussed in detail with any patient who may benefit from these approaches. Stillwater Medical Group has all the latest and most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment modalities.

If you have leaks that affect your day-to-day activities, don't hesitate to see your doctor. In most cases, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease your discomfort or stop urinary incontinence.  There is truly no need to suffer in silence.

Schedule an appointment today with your urologist or ob/gyn doctor!