Bladder problems and Incontinence
Bladder problems are common and can be very embarrassing and affect a woman’s quality of life, confidence, and relationship with her partner. It is important that these problems are not regarded as a normal part of ageing because there are many treatments that can be offered which can produce excellent results.
Bladder problems include:
- Incontinence of urine that may be associated with exertion/coughing or sneezing
- The feeling of needing to pass urine frequently during the day and/or at night that may be associated with urinary leakage
- Pain/Stinging or discomfort passing urine
- Slow or interrupted flow and difficulty emptying the bladder
- Repeated urinary infections
Our approach to treatment
We believe in a multi-disciplinary approach to managing women with incontinence and pelvic floor problems. This means working with nurses and physiotherapists as well as doctors from other disciplines to provide women with a comprehensive care package.
We also believe women should be given choices for managing their condition and offer conservative treatment, physiotherapy, medication and surgery as treatment options.
Urinary symptoms can be investigated using a bladder diary, urodynamics tests (a function test for the bladder), cystoscopy (a camera test to see the appearance of the bladder and urethra) as well as ultrasound scan of the bladder and pelvic floor.
Urinary incontinence may be amenable to a surgical solution, we offer several minimally invasive operations for urinary incontinence, these include: midurethral tape operations, bulking of the bladder neck, and botox treatment to the bladder. We also carry out colposuspension, a major procedure which is appropriate in a minority of cases.
Needing to go to the toilet frequently or rushing to the toilet and not getting there in time may also lead to incontinence. This is typically treated with conservative measures including lifestyle advice about fluid intake and which foods and drinks may stimulate the bladder. A physiotherapist can help with pelvic floor strengthening and bladder re-training. If these measures are unsuccessful then medication may be used. Surgical treatment in the form of Botox treatment to the bladder, may be required if medication does not resolve the problem.
Repeated urinary Infections/Bladder Vaginal or Urethral pain/Interstitial Cystitis
Urine infections or pain in the bladder and urethra (water pipe) can be very distressing. Pain problems in the bladder, urethra and vagina are complex and require a multi-disciplinary approach. They require co-ordinated care with a specialist urogynaecologist in this condition alongside a specialist women’s physiotherapist and other affiliated professionals.
These conditions are typically investigated with ultrasound assessment as well as carrying out a cystoscopy (looking inside the bladder and waterpipe with a camera).
Urodynamics assessment may also be required to see if there is a functional problem causing these symptoms.
Treatments include dietary and lifestyle changes as well as medications including antibiotic therapies, pain modulators, histamine receptor blocking agents, antibacterial medication, nutritional supplements, and medications that are passed into the bladder directly.