IDAHO — May 9 - 15 marks National Women's Health Week, encouraging women across the nation to take charge when it comes to their healthcare.
One of the issues women may face with their health, especially as they age, is incontinence.
Dr. Dawn King, a urologist with the Idaho Urologic Institute, says there are different kinds of incontinence to be aware of.
"One kind is called urgency or urge incontinence and the other more common type of incontinence is called stress incontinence," explains Dr. King. "Sometimes people have a combination of both and that's called mixed incontinence."
Urge incontinence is identified by a strong, sudden urge to urinate due to bladder spasms or contractions while stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine that occurs during a physical activity like coughing, sneezing, or laughter.
Dr. King says while anybody can experience incontinence, there are some factors that may put you more at-risk for the condition.
"Stress incontinence happens more commonly in women after childbirth. Obesity can play an issue. Sometimes aging is an issue for both of those conditions," she says. "Some neurological conditions can make you prone to urgency or urge incontinence such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease or having a stroke.
When it comes to treating incontinence, Dr. King says there are several surgical and non-surgical options available.
"I send a lot of women to physical therapy for both of these types of incontinence. It may sound weird, but there are a lot of certified floor therapists that can help women learn to strengthen their muscles in that area."
Other ways to treat incontinence include medication, behavioral therapy, Sacral Nerve Stimulation, and Botox injections.
If you have concerns or questions about incontinence, Dr. King says start by talking to your healthcare provider. You can also visit an Idaho Urologic Institute location in Boise, Meridian, or Nampa or give them a call at 208-639-4900.