Relief from Bladder
Problems

By Kathleen Martin, MD

 

 

As a urogynecologist at Women’s
Health Associates at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, I listen
to women express their concerns about their urinary incontinence.
Many express this regret, “I shouldn’t have waited so long to get
treatment for my urinary incontinence!” Some women suffer in
silence for years because they are too embarrassed to talk about
their condition or they’re afraid they might need surgery.

The truth is, incontinence is a common
but very treatable condition affecting nearly 12 million American
adults. Women who are incontinent tell me they limit their physical
and social activities because they worry they might have an accident.
If they go out, they plan trips carefully.

There are several types of urinary
incontinence. Women with stress incontinence experience
leakage when pressure is exerted on the bladder, such as during a
sneeze or cough. Urge incontinence is the sudden and/or
intense urge to urinate, or going frequently. Overflow
incontinence
occurs when a woman is unable to empty her bladder
fully, causing it to overflow and leak frequently or continually.
Women who experience more than one type of urinary incontinence have
mixed incontinence.

The most common and effective
treatments I prescribe for urinary incontinence are:

? Lifestyle changes – Including
fluid and diet management

? Medication – A host of effective
medications are available on the market right now

? Physical Therapy – Kegel and
other specialized exercises

? Surgery – If this is needed,
there are many options available that are minimally-invasive,
requiring little or no hospital stay and a short recovery time.

Incontinence is a quality of life issue
that is very personal and challenging. I have spent the better part
of 15 years helping women move beyond this problem and helping them
achieve comfort in their daily routine. I find it personally
rewarding to hear from patients who tell me that I have made a
difference in their lives! I invite you to make an appointment with
me so we can discuss your health issues and decide on a plan that
best suits your needs. Please have that conversation with your
primary care physician and let him/her know about your concerns.
The most important thing is to know that you are not alone in this
struggle. Please know this, there is help for you!

For more information, contact Dr. Kathleen Martin,
Community Clinical Services Women’s Health Associates, 330
Sabattus Street, Lewiston, please call
777-4300.


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