Gyn Services

Female Incontinence Doctor in San Francisco

Over 25 Years Helping Women with Urinary Control Issues

If you’re tired of being embarrassed by unexpected bladder leaks, know that you don’t have to live life like that any longer. Urinary incontinence affects 15 million women across the United States and thousands in the Bay Area. Thanks to innovative treatments, like Botox® and bladder sling surgery, you won’t have to suffer from urinary leaks for a lifetime. At Pacific Gynecology Surgical Group in San Francisco, CA, Dr. Leslie Kardos can diagnose and treat your urinary incontinence issues to restore your quality of life. Learn more about treating female incontinence issues by scheduling an appointment online or by phone at (415) 426-7859.

What is Female Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is loss of control in managing the flow of urine from your body. Approximately 17 million women in the U.S. encounter urinary incontinence in their lifetime. This condition can occur in women between the ages of 18 and 60 and beyond and is usually a result of the urethra not being closed tightly to keep urine in the bladder.

Symptoms vary from:

  • an inability to prevent leaking urine when exercising or other involuntary actions such as coughing or sneezing
  • an overwhelming urge to urinate that often causes them to urinate before getting to a bathroom.

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How is Female Incontinence Diagnosed?

Dr. Kardos discusses your health history and frequency of leaks to evaluate what type of incontinence issues you experience.

To rule out other underlying medical conditions, she will perform a pelvic exam and may also order a urine sample and imaging tests, like ultrasounds, to identify infections or other abnormalities.

What are the Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence?

Initially, Dr. Leslie Karos may recommend keeping a bladder diary that provides a better understanding of your symptoms. She may also suggest bladder training exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. You can also wear absorbent pads to protect your clothing and prevent an embarrassing accident. Some non-surgical treatment options offered to women in the San Francisco area include:

  • Behavior therapies – Behavior modification is used to train one’s bladder and sphincter muscles by decreasing fluid intake and by prompting or scheduling voiding.
  • Pelvic muscle exercises – Called Kegel exercises, these exercises commonly are intended to strengthen weak muscles surrounding the bladder.
  • Protective undergarments – Basically, these are pads undergarments designed to absorb leaked urine.
  • Catheter – These tubes are inserted into the urethra to collect urine into an external drainage bag. These are generally left in place 24 hours a day.
  • External devices – Called a Pessary, this device is designed to apply pressure to help reposition the urethra permitting it to close tightly. It features a stiff ring that is inserted into the vagina to exert pressure press against the wall of the vagina and urethra.
  • Bulking injections – Bulking agents such as collagen are injected directly into the urethral lining to firm and bulk up the urethral lining so that the urethra can close more tightly. Botox injections are also available to treat incontinence. These injections are effective at temporarily paralyzing overactive bladder symptoms causing urine leaks. Dr. Kardos may recommend Botox injections only if other medications and therapies are not helping control leaks.

Medications for Female Urinary Incontinence

If therapies aren’t effective, Dr. Kardos may prescribe medications to calm an overactive bladder or topical estrogens to help rejuvenate your vaginal region to better support your bladder. There are a number of medications to treat incontinence caused by urge to continually void. Where incontinence is stress related, there are no medications for to treat this. For incontinence caused by a combination of both urge and stress, drug therapy may be helpful in treating the urge component.

Female Incontinence Surgery

There are a number of surgical approaches to strengthen, support, elevate and/or restore the urethra and bladder. If surgical intervention is necessary to control urine leakage, Dr. Kardos can perform the following procedures:

  • Retropubic Suspensions. Surgical procedures (Burch procedure) intended to restore the urethra and neck of the bladder to a higher anatomical position.
  • Slings. Using your body’s tissue or a synthetic mesh, Dr. Kardos creates a sling around your urethra and the muscle that connects it to your bladder. The urethral sling is effective at keeping the urethra closed, especially during sudden stressful movements, such as sneezing. The types of slings Dr. Kardos offers for women near San Francisco are:
    • Bone-fixed slings – treat incontinence by supporting the urethra with a graft material attached to the pubic bone.
    • Self-fixated slings – can be used to support the urethra and are secured in place by friction and tissue ingrowth, and require no sutures or screws.

If you are a woman living in the San Francisco Bay area and are suffering from urinary incontinence, contact female incontinence specialist Dr. Leslie Kardos today

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