Solutions for female incontinence

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by Catherine Holland

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 11:20 AM

PHOENIX -- It's something most women don't like to talk about -- incontinence.

The condition is more common than you might think, according to Dr. Angela DeRosa of DeRosa Medical, and it's not something you have to live with.

Many associate female incontinence with new moms or older women, but they're not the only ones who have to cope with the often embarrassing issue.

"It can happen at any age," DeRosa said.

There are two main categories -- stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

In cases of urge incontinence -- when you have to rush to the bathroom -- the bladder wall is spasming uncontrollably.

"That is a neurological problem … that's most often treated with medications," DeRosa explained.

Stress incontinence, in which you urinate a bit when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise, is the most common type of incontinence in women. It happens when the muscle supporting the bladder weakens causing it to drop.

While there are surgical options and medications, there are also some other things you can try.

A therapeutic pessary, for example, can be inserted into the vagina to lift the bladder back into its proper position.

DeRosa said she often recommends a using kegel ball, which is meant to exercise the pelvic muscles.

"It causes the vagina to contract," DeRosa explained. "It lifts the bladder back up because you're building the muscle that sits underneath it."

The kegel balls, also known as Ben Wa balls, come in three different sizes -- 28 grams, 38 grams and 48 grams.

The most important part of treating female incontinence is having a conversation with your doctor.

"The key is to come talk to us and we can help you decided what type of incontinence you have and then how best to fix it," DeRosa said.


Dr. Angela DeRosa is a nationally recognized expert in the field of Internal Medicine and Women's Health. DeRosa Medical has locations in Scottsdale, Sedona and Chandler. For more information, call 480-619-4097 or visit DeRosaMedical.com.

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