As an adult, when you laugh so hard you pee your pants, it’s called urinary incontinence. It really isn’t funny, but it’s very common, affecting as many as 45% of adult women. As a doctor who specializes in women’s health, Dr. Darin L. Weyhrich has helped a number of women in Boise, Idaho, and the surrounding areas manage their incontinence. If you’re experiencing difficulty holding your urine or an urgency to urinate, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control your bladder, leading to an involuntary loss of urine. The degree of incontinence varies for women. But for some women, it can interfere with many aspects of daily life.
Incontinence is caused by either a neurological issue where the brain isn’t properly signaling the bladder or weak sphincter muscles. However, in some cases, it may be both.
If you have a family history of incontinence, you may be more likely to experience it as well. It’s also more common in Caucasian women.
Certain conditions also increase the risk of urinary incontinence, including childbirth, menopause, inactivity, obesity, and pelvic organ prolapse.
After a thorough exam that includes your medical history, a physical, and possibly a urinalysis, Dr. Weyhrich determines whether you’re experiencing urinary incontinence, and which type -- urge incontinence or stress incontinence.
In addition to the examination and to get a better idea of what’s happening at home, Dr. Weyhrich may also ask you to keep a bladder diary, which details your daily drink intake, the urgency to go, accidents, and how often you urinate an approximate amount.
If you have a strong urge to pee and then lose urine, you may be experiencing urge incontinence. Neurological issues that cause involuntary spasming of the bladder is a common cause of urge incontinence and may indicate that you have an overactive bladder.
Dr. Weyhrich treats urge incontinence with a referral to physical therapy and medications such as Detrol® and Ditropan®. He may also suggest you make changes to your diet to decrease the acidity of your urine, which might include limiting your intake of tomatoes, citrus fruits, caffeinated beverages, and spicy foods. Limiting alcohol intake may be recommended to decrease symptoms related to urge incontinence, too.
If you’ve accidentally urinated after coughing, jogging, or laughing, you’ve experienced stress incontinence. Weak sphincter muscles cause this type of involuntary urine loss.
Dr. Weyhrich treats stress incontinence with physical therapy. In some cases, he may also recommend a bladder sling, which is a surgical procedure that supports the bladder to reduce the risk of leakage.