Urinary and fecal incontinence can be debilitating, controlling your daily activity, making you self-conscious and stopping you from doing activities you love. At Suffolk Pelvic Medicine in Riverhead, New York, female urology specialist Dr. Jennifer Hill offers treatment for both conditions. If you’re a woman living in Long Island or the surrounding area, and experiencing inadvertent leaking of urine or leaking from the bowels, call her office, or book an appointment online.
Urinary incontinence describes the unintentional leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence can come in several forms, including:
Urinary incontinence can cause urinary tract infections, affect your social and work life, and irritate delicate skin around your genitals.
Fecal incontinence describes the inability to control your bowel movements. It can describe a complete loss of bowel control, but is often characterized by an occasional leakage of feces when you pass gas. Muscle and nerve damage associated with the aging process or post-childbirth can be a cause.
Weakened muscles and nerve signals in the pelvic floor are usually responsible for both fecal and urinary incontinence. You may experience these as you age. The decrease in estrogen production that occurs with menopause or after a hysterectomy is often a factor in urinary incontinence. Damage to your pelvic floor, from childbirth or an accident, can also be to blame.
Sometimes exercises and dietary changes – such as adding more fiber or avoiding bladder irritating beverages – can alleviate mild symptoms of incontinence.
Medicines with added estrogen or vaginal radiofrequency treatments can offer noninvasive ways to strengthen the tissue of the vagina and potentially alleviate mild symptoms of urinary incontinence. Some women may benefit from the insertion of a removable device called a pessary that pushes up against the vagina and urethra to support your pelvic floor muscles and alleviate the symptoms of stress incontinence.
Other surgical procedures can be helpful in treating urinary and fecal incontinence. These include sling procedures, in which a mesh-like piece of tissue (sometimes derived from your own body), is inserted to hold your bladder in place.
If you’re affected by leaking urine or feces, don’t hesitate to call the practice of Suffolk Pelvic Medicine, or book an appointment online.