Our clinic specializes in Urge Incontinence, Stress Incontinence, Overflow Incontinence, and Mixed Incontinence. Learn more by starting the conversation with our expert staff or by requesting an appointment.
Urinary incontinence, defined as the involuntary leakage of urine, is a common problem, often under-reported, can affect all ages and occurs in both men and women. Incontinence can be minor and infrequent, a source of discomfort, inconvenient, and perhaps embarrassing. Symptoms, frequency, and severity can all change over time. Any type or degree of incontinence is certainly a matter to discuss with a qualified urologist.
At Bellingham Urology, we treat all forms of incontinence, in men and women of all ages, as well as children. We provide caring, discreet treatment to control symptoms and address underlying causes.
Types of Incontinence
- Urge Incontinence. Occurring in both men and women, urge incontinence is characterized by a sudden and undeniable need to urinate, followed by leakage. The need is frequently so sudden and strong that the patient is unable to make it to the bathroom in time. Urge incontinence often affects the patient’s ability to sleep through the night.
- Stress Incontinence. More common in women but occasionally occurring in men, stress incontinence is characterized by urine leakage caused by sneezes, coughs, laughter, or exercise, even movement as basic as rising from a seated position.
- Overflow Incontinence. The bladder doesn’t feel empty—and isn’t, in fact, empty—despite frequent or recent urination. Overflow incontinence is more common in men and often caused by prostate illness or enlargement. It does also occur in women.
- Mixed Incontinence. More than one of the above types of incontinence is present.
If you’re not sure about which type of incontinence you have, take our free & confidential quiz:
Women suffer from incontinence almost twice as often as men. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and the female pelvic structure are all factors that lead to an increased incidence of incontinence.
One common cause of female incontinence is overactive bladder. In this condition, abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong times, causing muscles to squeeze without warning. This results in increases of both frequency and urgency of urination, urge incontinence, and nocturia (waking two or more times a night for the purpose of urination).
Treatments for female incontinence vary, according to the type of that is present, and include:
- Behavioral (bladder re-training and exercises)
- Medication (typically, medicines to relax the bladder)
- Injection (substances like collagen, correctly injected, may firm up the pelvic floor and muscles)
- MonaLisa Touch**
**MonaLisa Touch is a new procedure that patients have called “life-changing.” MonaLisa Touch delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response in the vaginal canal. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks. Many women report symptom relief after the very first treatment and even greater improvement after treatments 2 and 3.
While incontinence is associated with aging, and some normal aspects of aging (lax, weakened muscles, for instance) can contribute to the condition, but it is not inevitable and certainly not untreatable. Women do not need to suffer from this condition, just because they are aging. Treatments exist to alleviate symptoms and address underlying causes.