By Dr. Darren Housel
Frequently throughout my day as I talk with patients we will discuss bladder leakage. I will ask, do you experience any leaking? I often get a response like “Oh, just the normal leaking”. My response is: “Well, leaking isn’t normal! Certainly urinary incontinence is very common and sort of typical, but not normal.” The conversation then proceeds to discuss how impactful the leaking is on the person’s life. Do you avoid things you previously liked to do because of the leaking? Do you wear a pad all day every day? The urinary incontinence process progresses over a long period of time and the patient may not realize what an impact it now has on their life.
Bottom line, there are multiple, simple potential remedies for the problem. These include anything from pelvic physiotherapy to medication to surgical correction. These treatments have come a long way in the last decade or so. Pelvic physical therapy is effective in some people. The third and fourth generation medications have minimal side effects. Surgical correction is minimally invasive, extremely effective, and now has minimal discomfort and downtime.
Of course, a thorough evaluation is needed to determine what is the right course of action to take for each individual patient.
The take-home message from my little blurb here is that leaking is not normal! It is not inevitable and you don’t have to put up with it.