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

17.02.2004

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 New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures
01.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>