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 Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>