Learn from Leaky Lucy: Treating Urinary Incontinence

Now that you’ve met the ‘Leaky Lucys’ and found a version of Lucy that may have a parallel in your own life, it’s time to find out what can be done to treat Leaky Lucy’s urinary incontinence. Many women may recognize a problem with urine leakage, but they don’t know what to do or how to address the problem. How will each Leaky Lucy face this challenge and what can be done to treat urinary incontinence? Let’s find out.

But first, a quick review on our various versions of Leaky Lucy:

Leaky Lucy #1 – A woman in her late 50’s, going through menopause.

Leaky Lucy #2 – A mother in her mid-30’s, who has carried three pregnancies and had three natural births. The strain and stresses on the pelvic floor during pregnancy and child birth have caused a cystocele – or pelvic organ prolapse involving the bladder and loss of urethral support.

Leaky Lucy #3 – Our third Leaky Lucy is a woman in her 80’s with the desire to maintain her dignity and self-respect during her later years of life. She has accepted the needs for glasses, dentures, and the assistance of walker or wheelchair – but has a difficult time adjusting to the need to wear adult diapers.

Leaky Lucy #4 – The final Leaky Lucy is the surprising exception in what seems to be a group of women destined for pelvic problems. This is our young, athletic Lucy. Her intense level of activity is putting strain on her pelvic floor and bladder muscles – causing her to experience urine leakage that no one would ever suspect.

What Are the Most Common Treatments for Urinary Incontinence?

How will each Leaky Lucy find relief for her urine leakage? It’s clear to see that each Leaky Lucy has a different set of circumstances in life, and a different causes giving rise to her incontinence. It makes sense, then, that each case would be treated differently.

In general, however, the following methods are used to treat urinary incontinence:
-Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

-Medication

-Simple surgical procedures

-Bulking agent injections into the urethra

-Botox for the bladder

-InterStim

-Behavior and diet changes

Do you have an idea which treatment options are right for each version of Leaky Lucy? And which treatment for urinary incontinence would be right for you? Let’s find out.

Treating Leaky Lucy for Urinary Incontinence

As mentioned, each Leaky Lucy needs to be treated differently and in light of the specific causes of her urinary incontinence, as well as her treatment goals and lifestyle.

For Leaky Lucy #1, it may be that treating urinary incontinence means addressing some of the changes that have taken place in her body. It could be that hormone imbalance is causing a chain reaction that is contributing to urinary incontinence. Various medications may be able to mitigate the effects of menopause and treat urinary incontinence. Or, an examination may reveal an undiagnosed problem with her pelvic floor. If so, surgery may be needed to correct a prolapse.

In the case of Leaky Lucy #2, the damage to the pelvic floor muscles may be able to be reversed, at least in part, with pelvic floor physiotherapy. These targeted exercises isolate the pelvic floor muscles and can strengthen and tone them, leading to better bladder control and support.  If not, a simple outpatient surgery can correct her cystocele and resolve her incontinence up to 90% of the time.

To assist elderly Leaky Lucy #3, medications or changes in diet may be necessary. It could be that a medication specifically designed to reduce urinary or bowel incontinence may help her manage urine leakage. Many times Lucy #3 will not respond to medicine. However, the majority of these Lucys get better with treatments such as Interstim or Botox. Giving priority to the safety and need for dignity of Leaky Lucy in her golden years, a urogynecologist can recommend a reasonable course of treatment to accomplish her treatment goals.

For Leaky Lucy #4, a urogynecologist may recommend pelvic floor physiotherapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. It also doesn’t mean that young Leaky Lucy needs to count out cardio and strength training, but it may be necessary for her to learn proper lifting techniques and other strategies to minimize damage to the pelvic floor.  Sometimes Lucy #4 will be treated with a fifteen-minute outpatient sling surgery or a 3 minute bulking agent injection. Such treatments can allow Lucy to continue her distance running and or weight lifting without leakage.

Where Can YOU Find Treatment for Urinary Incontinence? 

If you can relate to Leaky Lucy, then you can find help for your urinary or bowel incontinence. At Zipper Urogynecology we treat ‘Leaky Lucys’ of all ages and stages of life. You’ll find a compassionate and experienced team that is ready to help you identify the challenges you’re facing with incontinence and the treatment option that is right for you.

Make an appointment for urinary incontinence or any other pelvic health problem today!

Call 321-674-2114.