Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control, resulting in the accidental loss of urine. Some women may lose urine while running or coughing, called stress incontinence. Others may feel a strong, sudden need, or urgency, to urinate just before losing urine, called urgency incontinence. Many women experience both symptoms, called mixed incontinence.
According to the National Association for Incontinence:
- Of the 25 million adult Americans suffering from some form of urinary incontinence, 75-80% of those are women.
- One in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily.
- On average, women wait 6.5 years from the first time they experience symptoms until they obtain a diagnosis for their bladder control problem(s).
Incontinence can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating. For some women, the chance of embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many of their favorite day-to-day activities. The economic costs can be substantial, as women often pay for bladder pads, briefs, hygiene and odor control products, laundry, dry cleaning and more.
“Many women are paying a high price, in terms of quality of life and financial costs, to manage urinary incontinence,” says Dr. Fronczak. “I want to change this.”
Getting Help for Urinary Incontinence
The good news about urinary incontinence it that the condition can often be controlled.
“I want women to know that urine leakage at any point in their lives is not normal, nor is it something they have to live with,” says Dr. Fronczak. “There are many things that can be done to help.”
When a woman comes to Dr. Fronczak with a UI problem, they work closely together to discover the root causes before developing a treatment plan. Patients begin by recording a “bladder diary” to track leaking episodes over time. Once the journal is complete, the next step is to explore treatment options that can range from basic behavioral modifications such as diet changes and pelvic floor physical therapy to simple clinical procedures and minimally invasive surgery.
Having someone to talk to about UI is the first step toward getting relief, something that can be difficult for many women − even during a visit with their physician. Dr. Fronczak is committed to fostering an ongoing conversation about UI with women so that they feel confident discussing and taking charge of their bladder health.
“Women tell me they don’t normally talk about UI because they don’t think anything can be done about it,” she says. “I’m here to listen and start the discussion. For me, it’s all about helping women improve their quality of life and continue doing the things they love.”
This article is part of our November Bladder Health Month Awareness series.
Get the Facts, Get Diagnosed and Take Control of Your Bladder Health.
- Next week’s Bladder Health article: Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence. Stay tuned to this blog or our Facebook Page
- Read last week’s article: November is Bladder Health Awareness Month
Boulder Medical Center’s Urology Department is here when you need help optimizing your bladder health. Dr. Carolyn Fronczak offers high quality urologic care for men and women, specializing in preventive, minimally invasive, and surgical treatment options.
CLICK HERE for Dr. Fronczak’s complete profile