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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder 

Overview

Laughing so hard you leak can be common, but when it happens regularly, it can be a sign of a bigger issue. Frequent urination, loss of bladder control or sudden, extreme urges to go to the bathroom could point to urinary incontinence or overactive bladder (OAB).

Whether it’s an overactive bladder, urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence, our urogynecology team offers a variety of treatments to help stop the leaks and help you feel comfortable and in control again. Find a urogynecology specialist.

Symptoms

Types of Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

  • Stress incontinence: Urine leakage caused by coughing, sneezing, laughing, bending or lifting.
  • Urge incontinence: General increase in urinary urgency or frequency or an uncontrollable flow of urine.
  • Overflow incontinence: Extremely frequent urination and inability to completely empty the bladder.
  • Mixed incontinence: Some combination of symptoms from the other incontinence types.

Fecal Incontinence

  • Obstetrical anal sphincter injury (OASIS): The most common cause of fecal incontinence in women usually caused by trauma during natural childbirth.
  • Rectovaginal fistulas: An abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina causing stool leakage because of injury during childbirth.

Causes

Overactive bladder can lead to urinary incontinence, and it’s important to seek treatment for bladder control issues early to help get you back on track.

Possible causes include:

  • High fluid intake
  • Certain foods or beverages
  • Certain medications
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Childbirth or pregnancy
  • Age
  • Menopause
  • Tumors or other obstruction
  • Select neurological disorders

Diagnosis

Urinary incontinence can be diagnosed by performing urodynamic testing (urodynamics) to assess how well the bladder and urethra are storing and releasing urine.

Urodynamic testing involves a series of tests that reproduce bladder and voiding capabilities, evaluate the function of your bladder and urethra, and accurately identify and diagnose underlying bladder problems.

Other diagnostic OAB or incontinence testing may include:

  • Cystoscopy, where a scope is used to look inside your bladder
  • Radiology/imaging scans
  • Endoscopic procedures of the bladder or bowel

Services & Treatment

There’s no single incontinence or overactive bladder treatment that works for everyone. That’s why Aurora Health Care offers medical and surgical treatment options tailored to you.

From pelvic floor therapy and medical management to state-of-the-art urogynecologic surgery, we help you regain health, confidence, comfort and quality of life.

Nonsurgical treatment for urinary incontinence and urinary urgency include:

  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (Urgent PC) stimulates your tibial nerves as well as the sacral nerves at the bottom of your spine, which can reduce overactive bladder.
  • Urethral bulking injections of collagen or other synthetic materials are injected around the tube that lets urine out of your bladder (the urethra). This procedure seals the tube more tightly to prevent urine from leaking.
  • Botox, a toxin that acts to relax muscles, is injected into the bladder muscle to help relieve symptoms of overactive bladder. Injections are done in the office.

Surgery may be a choice if other incontinence treatments aren’t effective.

  • InterStim therapy or sacral nerve stimulation requires a neurotransmitter device to be placed under your skin. The device gives mild electrical pulses to stimulate the nerve that controls the bladder and surrounding muscles to reduce symptoms of overactive bladder and urinary retention.
  • Sling procedures are typically used to treat stress incontinence — the most common form of urinary incontinence. The sling restores and supports the correct anatomical positioning of pelvic organs. 
  • Vaginal surgery, similar to laparoscopy, uses small incisions in the vagina to perform urogynecologic procedures to treat incontinence.
  • Laparoscopic and robotic surgery are two similar and minimally invasive approaches that offer faster healing and smaller scars for you. Learn more about laparoscopic and robotic surgery.
  • Pelvic reconstructive surgery can be used to treat pelvic floor dysfunction, which could be the cause of incontinence. Learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction.

For fecal incontinence, pelvic floor therapy — including pelvic floor exercises — can be an effective treatment option and may prevent the need for surgery.

Locations

Aurora Health Care offers overactive bladder (OAB) and incontinence treatment in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and throughout eastern Wisconsin. Call the location nearest you to set up an appointment today:


Aurora Medical Center West Allis
Aurora Women's Pavilion
8901 W Lincoln Ave
Suite 405
West Allis, WI 53227
(414) 329-5650

Aurora Medical Center-Grafton Medical Office Building
975 Port Washington Rd
Grafton, WI 53024
(262) 329-8100

Aurora Medical Center Summit-Medical Office Building
36500 Aurora Dr
Summit, WI 53066
(262) 434-5000

Aurora BayCare Medical Center-Women's Center
2845 Greenbrier Rd
4th Floor
Green Bay, WI 54311
(920) 288-8510

Aurora Health Center
4202 W Oakwood Park Ct
Suite 200
Franklin, WI 53132
(414) 649-1280

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