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2100 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, Massachusetts 02124
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Living Healthy -- Common Medical Q&As;
  Stress Incontinence Is Curable

It is estimated that 30% of women over the age of 40 are suffering from urinary incontinence, many of the stress urinary type.  This is a completely correctable condition by several methods.  The following questions were answered by Gary Bolgar, MD. Stress incontinence is treated by most urologists at Caritas Carney Hospital. 

Q. What is stress incontinence?

A. Stress incontinence is the uncontrolled loss of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, jogging, exercising, sometimes even getting out of a chair.

Q. What causes stress incontinence?

A. Stress incontinence is caused by gravity and relaxation of the natural support mechanisms inside the pelvis which allow the bladder neck to descend leading to the leakage of urine. 

Q. What happens if I do not get this fixed?

A. Nothing.  It is an elective condition to treat.  However, many people find it quite uncomfortable to continue to change several pads per day or to walk around with wet underwear.  This condition can lead to reduced social interaction, decreased hygiene and sometimes skin infection or skin break-down. 

Q. Are there non-surgical ways of treating stress incontinence?

A. There are.  First, there are Kegel exercises; also collagen can be injected into the urethra.  Some of the best ways to correct incontinence are to involve surgery, however.  Many surgeries have been reduced to either incisions of less than 2 cm in length which can be performed on an outpatient basis or a laparoscopic surgery leaving the person to get back to work much sooner than conventional surgery.