Incontinence Specialist

South Sound Womens Center

OB-GYNs located in Olympia, WA

If you’re among the 15 million women in the United States dealing with frequent urine leaks, you know the embarrassment and frustration it can cause. At South Sound Women’s Center in Olympia, Washington, the experienced OB/GYNs offer a variety of solutions to alleviate symptoms of incontinence, so you can laugh again without worry. To learn more about treating incontinence, schedule an appointment at South Sound Women’s Center by phone today.

Incontinence Q & A

South Sound Womens Center

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control. You can experience urine leaks during strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or running. You may also have leaks when you laugh, sneeze, or cough. These triggers are a type of stress incontinence.

In some cases, urinary incontinence can also make it difficult for you to reach the bathroom in time, or cause you to feel a persistent need to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full. These symptoms relate to urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder.


What causes incontinence?

The root cause of urinary incontinence relates to your nerves and muscles that help you hold urine in the bladder. The muscles of your bladder hold urine in, and when these muscles become weak or are stretched out, such as during a pregnancy, you may find it difficult to prevent urine leaks.

In addition to pregnancy, other conditions that contribute to urine leaks include:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Nerve damage
  • Certain medications
  • Chronic constipation


You can also develop urinary incontinence if you drink large amounts of caffeinated drinks, such as soda and coffee. These drinks cause your bladder to fill quickly and trigger unexpected leaks.


How is incontinence diagnosed?

The team at South Sound Women’s Center first reviews your symptoms and medical history. They perform a physical exam to rule out underlying medical conditions that can cause urine leakage, and a urine test may be necessary to check for infections.

You may undergo a bladder stress test, where you cough or do other activities that can cause urine leaks.

Your doctor may also request an ultrasound to take a closer look at your bladder and other organs to check for abnormalities.


What treatment options are available for incontinence?

Once your doctor at South Sound Women’s Center determines the cause of your incontinence issues, they may initially recommend physical exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that help hold urine in. Lifestyle changes, such as cutting out caffeine and losing weight, can also be effective in resolving urine leaks.

If these methods aren’t successful in restoring your quality of life, your doctor may recommend medications to relax your bladder muscles and stop spasms from causing urine leaks.

For more serious incontinence issues like bladder prolapse, a condition where the bladder falls into the vaginal canal, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Schedule an appointment online or by phone to learn more about available treatments for bladder leaks.