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Get Back to Life Without Incontinence November 11, 2021

In women, pelvic floor disorders become more common as they age. They also occur frequently after childbirth. This doesn’t mean you should expect and accept the problems.

Do you struggle with incontinence? You’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in every four women experience some sort of pelvic floor disorder. If it’s keeping you from living a full life, there’s something you should know.

“Incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders can be embarrassing, causing many women to socially isolate,” says Carrie Stewart, M.D., urologist on staff at CHRISTUS St. Vincent. “However, treatment can significantly decrease or even cure pelvic floor disorders. Talking with a provider about symptoms is an important first step.”

CSV Urology Dr Carrie Stewart

“Today, there is no reason for a woman to stay quiet about her issues. Treatment has an incredible impact on quality of life, and I can’t imagine a person I can’t help.”
— Carrie Stewart, M.D., urologist on staff at CHRISTUS St. Vincent

Treatment Options

In many cases, physical therapy is all that’s needed to overcome pelvic floor problems. When the problem persists, medication may help. With prolapsed organs, a plastic device known as a pessary is inserted to hold the vagina in place.

Should surgery be required, a few available options include:

  • BOTOX® — The same chemical used to smooth away facial wrinkles is injected into the bladder. This helps the bladder hold more urine.
  • Sacro Neuromodulator — A special device is implanted, and wires extend to the nerves that control the bladder or bowels, stopping unwanted leakage.
  • Urethral Bulking — A bulking agent gets injected around the urethra walls. This narrows the urethra’s opening, keeping urine from leaking out at the wrong time.

“Many women go years without seeking treatment and suffer in silence,” Dr. Stewart says. “When they finally get the right treatment, women regain their confidence and return to the life they loved.”

Ready to take the first step toward over- coming your pelvic floor disorder? Call (505) 982-3534 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stewart at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Urology Associates.

Regaining Confidence

Pelvic floor disorders occur when the pelvic muscles and connective tissues grow weak. This results in several issues. The most common include the following:

  • Urinary Incontinence — Urine leaks when you laugh, cough or sneeze. You may feel a frequent need to urinate or be unable to empty your bladder.
  • Fecal Incontinence — You lose control of your bowels and stool leaks from your rectum.
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse — Pelvic organs, such as the cervix and uterus, drop into the vagina. These misplaced organs may extend beyond the vaginal opening.

At the first hint of pelvic floor issues, talk to your doctor. With the right treatment, you can return to all your favorite activities without fear of embarrassment.

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