Q. My 65-year-old mother confided in me that she is having bladder control issues. What types of treatments are available for this?
A. Loss of bladder control in women is a common frustration. At least 35 percent of women over the age of 65 experience urine loss with a cough or sneeze. This is called Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), and it is generally a result of childbirth or aging. Childbirth often stretches ligaments and muscles beyond their limits, causing their elastic tissue to lose strength over time. This leads to loss of bladder support and the uncontrollable release of urine under the slightest pressure. An initial evaluation for someone suffering from this condition includes bladder pressure testing to determine the degree and type of problem. The solution is often a simple outpatient surgery with a quick recovery, minimal discomfort and good long-term results. A common treatment for SUI involves surgically inserting a ribbon of mesh between the bladder and vaginal wall through a small incision just inside the vaginal opening. This creates a strong support sling for the bladder. Bladder control problems are inconvenient and embarrassing. Get help from your OB-GYN and improve your quality of life.
Andrew R. Jones, M.D.
North Park OB-GYN
2051-A Hamill Road
Hixson, TN 37343