Incontinence Specialist

Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center

Barbara Grazette, MD

Gynecology & Women's Health located in Edina, MN

Incontinence can be an embarrassing problem for many women particularly from mid-life on, preventing them from living their lives to the fullest for fear of having urine leakage when they’re out and about. Barbara Grazette, MD, of Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center in Edina, Minnesota, is an experienced OB/GYN who can identify the cause of your incontinence and design an effective treatment program to help you manage your condition. Call Dr. Grazette today, or make an appointment online.

Incontinence Q&A

What is incontinence?

Incontinence means being unable to hold in your urine or stool so that it leaks out before you reach the bathroom. Urinary incontinence is a condition women frequently face, often during menopause, and is more likely to develop if you gave birth vaginally. There are different types of incontinence:

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)

SUI is the leakage of urine if your bladder is put under pressure, for example, by coughing, sneezing, or laughing. It can also happen during exercise.

Urgency urinary incontinence

Urgency incontinence occurs when you have to empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge to do so. In most instances, one leaks some urine before getting to the bathroom. Cystitis can cause a temporary case of urgency incontinence, but for some women, urgency incontinence is a constant problem.

You may experience both types of incontinence at the same time. You may also find you wake in the night needing to urinate or leak urine while you’re asleep.

What causes urinary incontinence?

Women suffer from incontinence in many cases due to the strain of childbirth, which stretches tissues in the pelvic region to the point that makes it hard to regain full elasticity afterward. You can also become incontinent because of:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Drinking diuretics or taking diuretic medications
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Constipation
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Anatomical issues
  • Lack of estrogen

As your body ages, the strength of the muscles you use to control the flow of urine lessens, so incontinence is more likely to become a problem in later life.

How is incontinence diagnosed?

When you visit Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center, Dr. Grazette reviews your medical history and discusses your symptoms with you to get a clear idea of what you’re experiencing. She then examines you and carries out an internal exam to check your pelvic organs. Other tests you may need include:

  • Cough test to check for leakage of urine
  • Pad test to measure the amount of urine leaking
  • Urethral support test
  • Bladder function tests
  • Diagnostic imaging, e.g., ultrasound

It’s important for Dr. Grazette to find out why you have incontinence to ensure you get the most appropriate treatment.

What treatments are available for incontinence?

The specific treatment program Dr. Grazette recommends depends on what’s causing the incontinence in your case. Potential treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Weight loss
  • Bladder training
  • Fluid intake management
  • Physical therapy
  • Support pessaries
  • Medication to help urgency incontinence
  • Surgery, for example, to correct pelvic organ prolapse
  • Kegel exercises
  • Core exercises

Dr. Grazette also recommends the innovative MonaLisa Touch® treatment system. MonaLisa Touch is a laser therapy that stimulates your body into regenerating gynecological tissues that lose strength and elasticity during menopause, helping to reduce incontinence.

If you’re experiencing any form of incontinence, Dr. Grazette can help you find a solution for your problem, so call Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center today, or book an appointment online.