The loss of pelvic support is one of the main causes of incontinence. As a woman ages, the walls that support the organs in the abdomen begin to weaken. This can cause the bladder to tilt or shift. Extensive surgery can also weaken the muscle and the fascia that supports the organs and holds many of them in place. Losing muscle control is also a common cause of incontinence. Women who are pregnant can suffer from incontinence because of the pressure that is put on the bladder by the growing fetus. Women who are overly obese may also have problems due to the excess weight pulling or pushing the bladder out of place.
Incontinence can be treated in a few different ways. Kegel exercises that strengthen the sphincter muscles that control the flow of urine and the vaginal walls' ability to clench, can also be used to decrease the risk of incontinence episodes. Surgery can also be performed to make repairs to the fascia and muscles in the abdomen that may have been damaged due to childbirth or an excessive number of surgeries. At Lakeshore Women’s Specialists, Drs. James Zolzer and Todd Adams specialize in bladder surgery to treat leakage and weakened muscle mobility.
When it comes to treating incontinence, the key is knowing what is causing the problem. While repairs to the muscles and fascia will require surgery, minor incontinence that is related to obesity and weakened muscle structure can be treated with exercise and weight loss. Losing weight reduces the stress on the abdominal walls, allowing exercise to strengthen and tone the tissues that hold the bladder in place. If a sling is determined to be the best solution, the surgical procedure will use small incisions to allow the sling to be properly positioned beneath the urethra.
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