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6116 East Arbor Avenue, Building 2, Suite 108, Mesa, AZ 85206


Urinary Incontinence Q & A

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control when the bladder releases urine. There are several different classifications of urinary incontinence, but the most common form is stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when pressure from laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, or lifting causes a patient to leak urine unexpectedly.  The next most common form is urge incontinence and this occurs when the ability to suppress the urge is overcome by the bladder and it empties. Common symptoms are constant urgency and going very frequently as well as getting up at night more than twice to empty.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

Pregnancy and childbirth can also lead to stress incontinence because of the strain and stretch it puts on the pelvic muscles and nerves. Obesity, chronic straining with constipation or chronic coughing can put pressure on the pelvic muscles and nerves leading to damage over time. Urge incontinence, also known as Overactive Bladder (OAB), is usually idiopathic, i.e. there is no found cause, and seems to increase with increasing age.  The decreased estrogen levels associated with menopause can also affect one’s ability to control her bladder and may lead to stress or urge incontinence and these frequently occur together.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

The physicians at East Valley Urology Center offer a number of treatments including:

  • Non-surgical therapy always begins with scheduled voiding intervals and pelvic muscle exercises (Kegels), which help to keep the pelvic muscles strong to support urinary health.
  • Treatments for stress incontinence (all of these are done as outpatient same day surgery)
    • Minimally invasive mesh slings (tension free vaginal tape) implant a strap of material to support the urethra which helps to keep the urethra closed when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs, or exercises.
  • Treatments for urge incontinence and overactive bladder (OAB)
    • OAB medications can help many women with frequency, urgency, and urge incontinence.
    • Botulinum toxin (Botox®) can be injected into the bladder wall (this is done in the office with no down time).
    • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is the least invasive form of neuromodulation and is also done in the office and does not involve surgery.
    • Interstim® therapy is an implanted device that provides continuous neuromodulation. This is commonly referred to as a “bladder pacemaker” and is implanted on an outpatient basis.

If you have any questions about our treatment options, please call our office.