Treatments

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Overactive Bladder

There are lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications that can be tried prior to medication or surgical management. These include avoiding specific bladder irritants such as caffeine, citrus and artificial sweeteners; avoiding the consumption of large amounts of fluids at one time; avoiding fluids for several hours before bedtime; losing weight; and quitting tobacco/nicotine products. Many times, therapy with a physical therapist who specializes in the female pelvic floor can provide excellent results. Discuss this type of therapy as well as medication options and surgical treatments with your doctor.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Pelvic floor physical therapy (therapy with a physical therapist who specializes in the female pelvic floor) is an excellent non-surgical option for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. Another non-surgical treatment option is use of an incontinence pessary. An incontinence pessary is a soft, bendable device that is made of silicone or latex, and is worn in the vagina to help provide support of the urethra and bladder neck. There are several surgical options for stress urinary incontinence, but often this requires bladder function testing to determine the most appropriate surgery for the leakage. It is important to know that not all surgeries for leakage are right for every patient that leaks.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

The non-surgical option for prolapse is a pessary. A pessary is a soft, bendable device that is made of silicone or latex, and is worn in the vagina to help provide support of the vaginal walls. Its main function is to mechanically lift the vaginal walls and surrounding organs to reduce the symptoms of pressure and bulging. There are many different surgical options for prolapse. Your doctor will help determine which surgical option is right for you and your type of prolapse.

Fecal Incontinence

Pelvic floor physical therapy can help tremendously with this issue, especially when the leakage is related to weakened pelvic floor muscles. There are also medications and surgical options available for treatment of the leakage of stool. A full physical examination, and sometimes additional testing, is necessary to determine which treatment option is appropriate, as there are many different causes for a woman to lose the ability to control bowel function.

Dyspareunia

Depending on the cause of the dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, your physician will determine the best course of treatment. If the cause is pelvic floor muscle spasm, the treatments may include pelvic floor physical therapy, medications or surgery. If the cause is related to vaginal scar tissue, the treatment could include pelvic floor physical therapy, trigger point injections, medications or vaginal laser therapy. If the cause is due to a lack of vaginal estrogen, your physician may discuss vaginal estrogen supplementation or vaginal laser therapy.