‘It’s not normal,’ doctor tells women with this common condition

RICHMOND, Va. -- While urinary incontinence is not unusual for women to experience, especially after childbirth, Dr. Quinn Lippmann says it is not a condition women should have to live with.

"There's this idea that, 'Oh, this just happens when you get older -- or it's something naturally happening that you just have to deal with,'" said Lippmann, a urologist with Retreat Doctors' Hospital in Richmond.  "What I tell my patients often is that it's common, but it's not normal."

While some incontinence issues can be helped with medication or physical therapy, surgery is usually the best route when it comes to Stress Incontinence. Stress Incontinence is leakage that occurs when someone sneezes, laughs, or lifts something heavy for example.

"Stress Incontinence is really a surgical correction because what we need to do is re-stabilize the urethra," Lippmann explained.

Lippmann says by placing a sling, or mesh material, underneath the urethra, doctors are able to take some pressure off the bladder.

"I usually do these procedures on a Wednesday and patients are feeling good by Monday or Tuesday and back to work," Lippmann said.

A second type of incontinence is known as Urgency Urinary Incontinence, which is caused by an irritation or nerve problems in the bladder. Patients often feel the sudden urge to urinate and have little control.

Doctors are able to treat this type of incontinence with medications, botox injections or nerve stimulation of the bladder.

Most of these procedures are outpatient options, or can be performed inside the doctor's office.

Lippmann says non-invasive procedures and surgeries are showing promise in helping women feel like themselves again, without the embarrassment of incontinence.

Working For Your Health is a partnership with HCA Healthcare. Serving the greater Richmond area, Chippenham, Henrico Doctors’, Johnston-Willis, Parham Doctors’, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospital are part of HCA Virginia. Watch for Working For Your Health reports Tuesdays on CBS 6 News at 7 p.m.

Watch for Working For Your Health reports on CBS 6.

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