Women’s Health Incontinence Therapy
Our patients understand that women’s health incontinence therapy is nothing to be embarrassed about. Knowing that you can do something about incontinence, that you don’t have to just learn to live with it, puts you on the path to regaining control over your bladder. First, and this is the hardest step for many people to take, you must discuss your problem with a health care professional.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Simply stated, it means you lose urine when you don’t want to. Along with leakage, there may be other symptoms. You may be experiencing one or more of the following:
- Urgency: You may have a strong need to pass urine, even when your bladder is not full. You may also experience pelvic discomfort or pressure.
- Frequency: Even with normal fluid intake, your urination frequency is more than once every two hours or exceeds six to eight times a day.
- Nocturia: This is waking from sleep with the urge to urinate and can fluctuate with age. While many people wake to pass urine, going two, three or more times may be a sign of incontinence.
Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence
Start by seeing your primary care physician for tests and a full examination to see if another medical condition is the cause for your loss of bladder control. Asking for a referral to a health care practitioner who is knowledgeable and experienced with urinary incontinence is also highly recommended.
You can expect your doctor(s) to discuss your health history regarding incontinence as well as perform a physical examination. Their screening may include a pelvic exam, urine analysis, as well as measuring the amount of urine that remains in your bladder after urination.
Once ancillary causes are ruled out, a physician will recommend a women’s health incontinence therapy program tailored to your needs and incontinence type. They may also refer you to our Center Green office where Denise Baugh, MSPT and Michelle Harris, MSPT treat patients with urinary incontinence every day.
Women’s Health Incontinence Therapy
By coming to our offices, we can provide an individualized program that meets your doctor’s criteria and helps increase bladder control. We’ll start with an evaluation:
- Bladder Diary: This is a great way to measure fluid intake versus the amount and interval of voiding, as well as leakage frequency. It can also reveal consumption of bladder irritants.
- Physical Assessment: A trained therapist will screen your lower back and quadrant, check for diastasis (abdominal separation) and measure abdominal strength.
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Exam: This external exam checks resting position, response to cough and contraction, and assesses muscle substitution. An internal muscle exam tests sensation, muscle tone and strength.
- Biofeedback: An evaluation may be performed with an internal or external vaginal electrode to quantify power, endurance and strength of pelvic floor musculature. It also checks overflow into surrounding muscles and gives feedback to the patient.
Treatment & Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
Once we have gathered all the data from your evaluation, we will move forward with women’s health incontinence therapy:
- Utilizing state of the art EMG/biofeedback computer system and digital evaluation to teach proper pelvic floor contraction to improve strength, and stability and resting tone of the pelvic floor. Includes functional progression to standing, lifting, etc.
- If patient strength is greatly diminished, use of intravaginal or surface electrical stimulation
- Use of vaginal weights/cones
- Postural corrections/strengthening abdominal musculature
- Patient education on physiology of urination – What is normal? What are good bladder habits?
- Fluid/dietary adjustment