Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Non-Surgical Treatment Is Often Available For Women Who Suffer From Urinary Incontinence


No matter how funny the joke, many women try not to laugh. They worry about coughing or sneezing unexpectedly, afraid the pressure on the bladder will cause a loss of control.

Regardless of how recently they’ve been to the ladies’ room, many women feel the need to go again, victims of an "overactive" bladder that tends to contract even when it isn’t full.

Unfortunately, many of these women - and those with other types of urinary incontinence - live in fear, frustration and shame because they believe their symptoms are beyond help. They may be too embarrassed to talk to their doctor.

Urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control, is twice as common in women as in men, but most cases are far from untreatable. According to the recently appointed director of urogynecology and reconstructive surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, more than 80 percent of women who pursue treatment find relief.

"Many women incorrectly think that incontinence is a normal part of aging and that surgery is the only treatment. Actually, only about 20 to 30 percent need surgery," says Cynthia D. Hall, MD, a specialist in women’s pelvic health who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence, pelvic floor prolapse, pelvic pain and recurring urinary infections.

While aging may be one factor, urinary incontinence in women is often caused by an "interplay of factors," including a lack of estrogen, giving birth many times or giving birth to large babies, and genetics. "Genetics plays a huge part in predisposing a woman to urinary incontinence," Dr. Hall says. "Sometimes a woman who has given birth to 10 children won’t experience it, while another woman who has only one child or none at all, will."

The two most common types of incontinence are "stress" incontinence, caused by pressure placed on the bladder during such actions as coughing, exercising, lifting or laughing, and "urge" incontinence, caused by the bladder contracting when it isn’t full. About 40 percent of women with urinary incontinence experience more than one type, usually a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Another type, "overflow" incontinence, uncommon in women, occurs more often in men with prostate gland problems. An inability to empty the bladder causes urine to overflow uncontrollably and leak. Nerve damage from diabetes also can lead to overflow incontinence, and some medications can cause or increase it.

"It’s extremely important to get a clear idea from the patient what her symptoms are and also to do a pelvic examination and perhaps bladder testing so we can treat them appropriately," says Dr. Hall, who works closely with - not in place of - her patients’ primary care and/or ob/gyn doctors. "Incontinence is rarely a dangerous medical condition; it’s more often a ’quality of life’ issue. I always stress to my patients that it’s their choice as to what type of treatment to pursue. There’s no one single treatment option; they have to choose what they want to do."

Among the choices are behavioral training such as timed voiding and dietary alterations, pelvic floor exercises (Kegels), perhaps with biofeedback or electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor, medication, pelvic support devices or surgery.

Urogynecology is described as a merging of two fields - urology and gynecology - into one medical specialty that focuses on women’s pelvic health. A urogynecologist completes medical school and a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology. The residency is followed by a two-year or three-year fellowship in urogynecology, during which the physician specializes in the evaluation and treatment of conditions that affect the pelvic organs and the muscles and connective tissue that support the organs.

Dr. Hall received her medical degree from the State University of New York and completed her residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She then completed a fellowship in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center. Before joining Cedars-Sinai, she was at North Shore University Hospital, a busy community hospital in Long Island NY.

Her research interests are in the mechanism and prevention of childbirth injury,of different graft materials in reconstructive surgery, and in the causes of mixed incontinence. "At Cedars-Sinai, we’re in the planning stages of studying different aspects of mixed incontinence (stress and urge). We want to know what the predictive factors or underlying problems are in a particular patient that make surgery work for both problems (usually urge incontinence is better treated by medicines or pelvic muscle exercises). Is it related to genetics, or anatomic (structural) differences or other factors?" she asks.

In addition to treating incontinence, Dr. Hall treats women who experience prolapse (an abnormal descent or bulging of the uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum), pelvic pain (bladder or urethral pain) and recurring urinary tract infections. For more information, please contact Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Women’s Continence and Pelvic Health at 310-423-9555.

Cedars-Sinai is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the Western United States. For the fifth straight two-year period, it has been named Southern California’s gold standard in health care in an independent survey. Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of programs and services, as well as breakthroughs in biomedical research and superlative medical education. It ranks among the top 10 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities.

Sandra Van | Cedars-Sinai Media Relations

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>