For the 25 million U.S. adults with urinary incontinence, a little leakage can carry a lot of shame. But many people don’t do anything about it. “Urinary incontinence is a very insidious process,” said Dr. David Glazier, co-director of the pelvic floor center at Virginia Urology in Richmond, Va. “It occurs very slowly; (people) think it’s a normal part of aging.”
Women — 75 to 80 percent of sufferers, thanks largely to the wonders of childbirth — endure leakage for an average of eight years before seeking help, Glazier said, even though it’s highly treatable.
Urinary Incontinence Causes and Treatment
Increasingly, women are taking action. They are “more physically active, fit, and they’re not going to tolerate wearing pads all the time,” said Dr. Vivian Aguilar, a urogynecologist at Cleveland Clinic Florida who sees many incontinence patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
The most common types of incontinence among women are stress and urge incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse can be a cause. Most women see improvement or cure through behavioral modification (losing weight, limiting caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners) and Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, considered the frontline treatment for both types, said Dr. Margaret Roberts, attending physiatrist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. But a third of women don’t do Kegels correctly, she said, and those frontline treatments don’t work for everyone. source