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Urinary Incontinence

John H. Kirk, MD

Board Certified OB-GYN & Advanced Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgeon located in Napa, St. Helena, & Hidden Valley Lake, CA

While anyone can develop urinary incontinence, women experience the condition to a greater extent than men. John H. Kirk, MD, and his team offer a full-service facility to evaluate, diagnose, and treat urinary incontinence at offices in Napa, St. Helena, and Hidden Valley Lake, California. They offer a variety of approaches, ranging from medication and pelvic floor therapy to minimally invasive surgery. Call Dr. Kirk today or schedule a consultation online if you have urinary incontinence.

Urinary Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence occurs when you can’t control your bladder. The two most prevalent types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when pressure on the bladder forces urine out of the body. For example, if you laugh, sneeze, or pick up something heavy, the extra force could cause leakage. Women are usually more vulnerable to this type of incontinence than men because pregnancy, childbirth, and the hormonal changes of menopause weaken a woman’s pelvic floor, which reduces the support for the bladder. 

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence causes sudden, intense, and uncontrollable urges to urinate. The urge can strike at any time, day or night, which can disrupt your sleep or make you anxious about going anywhere that doesn’t have quick access to a bathroom. Urge incontinence could be due to an infection, diabetes, muscle spasm, or a neurological disorder. 

When should I talk to a doctor about urinary incontinence?

Many women delay talking to Dr. Kirk about urinary incontinence because they’re embarrassed. However, you should speak with Dr. Kirk as soon as you notice symptoms. Often, when you get diagnosis and treatment in the earliest stages of a health problem, the treatment is not only less invasive and disruptive, but more effective. 

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Dr. Kirk and the team provide a variety of treatments for urinary incontinence. After a thorough diagnosis to identify the type and cause of incontinence, they create a personalized treatment plan, which could include:

Medication

If an infection is causing incontinence symptoms, Dr. Kirk can prescribe medicine to fight the disease. He might also recommend Botox® injections to ease muscle spasm or abnormal nerve signals that can trigger urge incontinence. Some women benefit from topical vaginal estrogen creams to restore the strength of pelvic tissue.

Pelvic floor therapy

Pelvic floor therapy is a specific type of physical therapy that strengthens and repairs the pelvic floor. In addition to exercise, the therapist could provide electrical stimulation to help improve your muscles. 

Minimally invasive surgery

When nonsurgical options don’t reduce incontinence symptoms, Dr. Kirk might recommend minimally invasive surgery. Depending on the patient’s condition, he might implant a vaginal sling or reinforce the urinary tract with a bladder neck suspension or artificial urinary sphincter. He can also repair pelvic organ prolapse. 

Don’t ignore urinary incontinence. Call Dr. Kirk or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment.