Activities as simple as laughing, sneezing, coughing, running, and jumping can be worrisome to a woman with a pelvic floor issue, such as urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. There are different types of urinary incontinence, the most common being stress incontinence, or loss of urine during physical exertion. There is also urge incontinence, or the sudden, strong urge to urinate.
Regardless of the cause, all types of urinary incontinence can cause embarrassment. In fact, one in three women over 45 years old are affected by stress urinary incontinence while about 15 percent of women across all ages are affected by overactive bladder.
“When these issues begin to offset quality of life, women should feel empowered to seek treatment,” says Rebecca Rinko, DO, Bon Secours Urogynecology.
As an urogynecologist, Dr. Rinko has received training to diagnose and treat women with pelvic floor issues. Her main areas of focus are pelvic organ pro-lapse, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and bladder pain syndrome.
According to Dr. Rinko, for pelvic floor disorders, the number one risk factor is pregnancy and/or having had a child. There are many other factors as well including genetics, age, smoking as well as other health problems and prior surgeries. Dr. Rinko sees patients in their 20s through 90s for variety of health issues.
“It’s never too early and never too late to seek care when these issues are bothering you,” she says.
The least invasive treatment options include lifestyle modifications and fluid/diet management. Additional options such as physical therapy, medicine and surgery are available as well.
“Patients don’t need to suffer.” Dr. Rinko adds, “there are multiple treatment options, not just surgical options.”
It is important to remember urinary incontinence is common and can be treated. Women don’t have to cope with these issues on their own, and their lives shouldn’t be controlled by these conditions.
Learn more about the Bon Secours Women’s Pelvic Health Rehabilitation Program.