The title of this blog asks whether urinary incontinence is normal, and our answer is this: It’s common, which may make it seem “normal.” That said, we certainly don’t believe that it’s a new normal and something you have to live with. The fact is that urinary incontinence can have a serious impact on your quality of life. The good news is that we offer several innovative procedures that can put an end to involuntary leakage.
At Texas Urogynecology & Laser Surgery Center, Dr. Richard Farnam is a female pelvic medicine and robotic gynecologic surgeon whose expertise in solving urinary incontinence and other gynecologic conditions is recognized around the world. Using the latest techniques available, our team is able to help women in El Paso, Texas, and beyond, regain control of their lives.
If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, here’s a look at why the condition develops, and what we can do about it.
The origins of urinary incontinence in women
Thanks to anatomy and biology, urinary incontinence affects twice as many women as men, in the forms of stress incontinence and urge incontinence. The reason for the disparity lies in several different areas.
To start, childbirth is one of the more common culprits behind urinary incontinence as accommodating and delivering a baby can weaken the supportive tissues inside the pelvic region.
Additionally, the loss of estrogen after menopause can lead to incontinence as your support tissues aren’t receiving the resources they once did. During your reproductive years, your estrogen levels ensured that your pelvic tissues were healthy and strong in order to facilitate intercourse and delivery. Once you pass through to your nonreproductive years, these resources decrease dramatically, which can create problems with urinary incontinence. To put some numbers to it, 4 out of 10 women over the age of 65 experience problems with urinary incontinence.
Lastly, a woman’s urethra is shorter than a male’s, which means there’s less muscle to control the flow of urine.
Putting an end to urinary incontinence
If you’ve tried everything from Kegel exercises to pessaries, to no avail, we’re here to help. Dr. Farnam has extensive experience with two innovative surgical techniques that successfully resolve urinary incontinence in women.
The first technique is called the Burch procedure, and it’s designed to remedy stress incontinence. The goal of the procedure is to provide stronger pressure points for your bladder, which Dr. Farnam accomplishes by attaching the organ to a ligament near your pubic bone. The Burch procedure not only helps better suspend your bladder, it also stabilizes your urethra.
The second option is a urinary incontinence sling, which boasts a 95% success rate. Dr. Farnam places the sling under the neck of your bladder to provide your urethra with the support it needs to function properly. There are two types of slings — a midurethral or natural tissue sling — and he places either one during a minimally invasive procedure that takes about 15 minutes.
To determine which procedure is best for you, Dr. Farnam performs a comprehensive evaluation of your problem and recommends the procedure with the best chance of successfully helping you regain control over your urinary tract.
To get back to a normal life free from urinary incontinence, call 915-533-5600 or schedule a consultation.