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Mile Bluff Medical Center
1050 Division Street | Mauston, WI 53948 | 608-847-6161

Treating Incontinence at Mile Bluff

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If you are one of the millions of Americans who experience incontinence (loss of bladder control), you know that even a little sneeze can cause big concern.  You don't have to worry about accidental leaks when saying "Achoo!" - help is available locally!

Mile Bluff's Women's Health team is made up of providers who specialize in gynecology and are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that are unique to women.  Mike Pech, MD, FACOGKatherine Leigh Hilsinger, MD, and Maria Wolf, APNP, seek to find the best solutions for their patients who are experiencing incontinence and other female-specific issues. 

About Incontinence
The severity of incontinence ranges from occasionally leaking urine when coughing or sneezing to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you don't get to the bathroom in time.

There are several types of incontinence, including
-Stress incontinence.  Urine leaks when you put pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.
-Urge incontinence. You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine.  You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night.  Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or more severe conditions such as a neurological disorder or diabetes.
-Overflow incontinence.  You experience a frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn't empty completely.
-Functional incontinence.  A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the bathroom in time.  For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
-Mixed incontinence.  You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by a number of factors, including - but not limited to - urinary tract infections, multiple pregnancies, hysterectomies, constipation, obesity, smoking, estrogen deficiency, and trauma (surgical and/or direct injuries).  Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine of alcohol can increase the urge to use the restroom as well.

When to seek help
Incontinence can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing topic to talk about, even with your healthcare provider.  However, if incontinence is affecting your quality of life, it's important to seek medical attention as it may be a sign of a more serious health condition.  Incontinence can also limit your activities and social interactions, and can increase the risk of falls in older adults as they rush to the bathroom.

Assessing Incontinence
When you decide to seek treatment for incontinence, Mile Bluff's Women's Health team will start by going through your health history and performing a physical exam.  After that, additional testing may be ordered.

Some of those tests may include:
-Urinalysis.  A sample of your urine is checked for signs of infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities.
-Bladder diary.  For several days you will be asked to record how much you drink, when you urinate, the amount of urine you produce, whether you had an urge to urinate and the number of incontinence episodes you experience.

Additional tests may be ordered.

Treatment options at Mile Bluff
You can take comfort in the fact that Mile Bluff is prepared to assist you in regaining control of your bladder and restoring your confidence along with it.

The Women's Health team at Mile Bluff, will likely start treating your incontinence with conservative techniques, this includes medications, and/or physical therapy through the Pelvic Floor Program.

The Pelvic Floor Program is provided by a physical therapist is Mile Bluff's Rehabilitation Services Department.  The program assesses and strengthens the muscles that control your bladder, called the pelvic floor.  Using behavior and muscle training, this program helps patients regain control of their bladder.

If conservative therapies to target your muscles have not worked to relieve your symptoms, sensory-focused InterStim Therapy may be used.

With InterStim, hair-thin wires are placed under the skin.  Those wires provide gentle electrical stimulation to help correct communication issues between the bladder and the brain.  An initial three-day trial will determine if this is the right therapy for you.

There are also several surgeries that can be performed at Mile Bluff to treat incontinence.  Doctors Hilsinger and Pech are both highly trained in minimally-invasive and laproscopic surgery.  To treat incontinence, several procedures can be performed right at Mile Bluff Medical Center, including a bladder-sling procedure and a bladder prolapse procedure.

If you would like more information about the incontinence treatment services available at Mile Bluff, or to make an appointment with our Women's Health Team, call 608-847-5000.  Women's health services are available in multiple locations.