Incontinence in women

Women can face two types of incontinence. With urinary incontinence, urine leaks from the bladder. With fecal incontinence, stool leaks from the bowels. We know these conditions can cause embarrassment and shame. But incontinence is usually caused by a medical problem, one our providers can cure.

Weakened pelvic floor muscles, childbirth issues and getting older can cause either type of incontinence. Men may experience incontinence as well, but it is more common in women.
 

What you should know about incontinence in women:

  • Does your bladder leak when you sneeze, cough or laugh? If so, you may have stress incontinence. Such movements put pressure on your bladder and push the urine out. Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence in women.
  • Urge incontinence, sometimes referred to as overactive bladder, is when you have a strong urge to suddenly urinate. Often, the urge is too strong, and urine leaks out before you get to the bathroom. 
     

Why choose Geisinger for your incontinence care? 

  • Specialized center for pelvic floor disorders: You don’t have to live with the embarrassment of urine or fecal leakage. The specialists at our Female Pelvic Medicine Reconstructive Surgery Center can help. Our providers can diagnose, treat and often cure incontinence. Learn more about pelvic floor disorders.
  • Skilled team of providers: Our urogynecologists are OB/GYNs who completed additional training (fellowships) in pelvic floor disorders. They perform innovative evaluation and treatment procedures. We can help you return to your normal, active life as soon as possible.
  • Women’s behavioral health providers: Some women feel shame or awkward talking about urinary or fecal incontinence. But you don’t have to feel anxious or alone. Our behavioral health providers specialize in women’s health issues and can help you work through these feelings before, during and after your treatment. 

Treatment options

You don’t have to live with the shame or discomfort of incontinence. Our specialists can evaluate and treat you.

  • BOTOX® detrusor injections : a drug injected into the bladder to help relax and increase the bladder’s storage capacity
  • Cystoscopy : a procedure that provides a detailed view of the bladder and urethra
  • Lifestyle modifications, including diet and exercise : such as losing weight, quitting smoking and doing pelvic muscle exercises
  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation : A treatment that deliver electrical pulses to the nerve that control the bladder that are not working correctly.
  • Vaginal pessary : a flexible device that can be placed in the vagina to help reduce or eliminate stress incontinence
  • Urethral bulking for intrinsic sphincter deficiency : is an injection used to treat stress urinary incontinence

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