Summary: Dr. Krishna Upputuri, an ob/gyn who treats patients at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, will present “Every Woman’s Body is a Work of Wonder,” on procedures to treat incontinence, pelvic fullness and pelvic pain. The program is scheduled at 7 p.m. June 15 at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, emergency conference room, 701 Winthrop Ave., Glendale Heights. The program is free but space is limited; register by calling 630-856-7525.
Glendale Heights – Many women think loss of bladder control is just a normal part of aging. This is partly why only 5 percent of women who suffer from incontinence seek treatment, according to Dr. Krishna Upputuri, an ob/gyn who treats patients at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. As many women can attest, the shame and embarrassment that come with incontinence can also play a role in avoiding the doctor.
“This is not a problem women have to force themselves to live with,” Upputuri said. “There are many non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical options that can help you feel normal again.”
Upputuri is presenting an hourlong program, “Every Woman’s Body is a Work of Wonder,” on procedures to treat incontinence, pelvic fullness and pelvic pain. The program is scheduled at 7 p.m. June 15 at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, emergency conference room, 701 Winthrop Ave., Glendale Heights. The program is free but space is limited; register by calling 630-856-7525.
According to Upputuri, the two most common kinds of incontinence are stress and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when added stress is suddenly placed on the bladder, such as when coughing, sneezing or lifting a heavy box. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and genetics can weaken the bladder muscles, causing urine to leak. Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, occurs when women feel a sudden urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine.
Over time, incontinence can lead to urinary tract infections or skin problems such as rashes, infections and sores below the waist. It can also affect a woman’s quality of life.
“From your sex life to your personal and business relationships, incontinence can really change the way you live,” Upputuri said.
If it reaches that point, it’s time to see your doctor. Incontinence can sometimes be corrected by simply altering your behaviors.
“The solution may be as easy as following an exercise regimen to retrain your bladder, altering your diet or taking medication,” Upputuri said.
Kegel exercises, for example, can help prevent stress incontinence by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. To do a kegel, squeeze the muscles you would use to stop urinating, hold for three seconds and repeat. Eliminating caffeine or drinking liquids only before a set time may also help. Medications known as anticholinergics can also treat both stress and urge incontinence.
“These medications relax your bladder, significantly reducing overactive tendencies,” Upputuri said.
If these conservative approaches aren’t working, surgery can help.
“In the past 10 years, minimally invasive treatments, such as the midurethral sling, have made treating
incontinence easier and less painful,” Upputuri said.
At Adventist Midwest Health, one of the most common minimally invasive techniques to treat incontinence is the tension-free vaginal tape sling. During surgery, a small 2.5-centimeter incision is made under the urethra. The surgeon then inserts a mesh-like sling, which prevents incontinence during sudden movement. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can go home the same day and return to non-strenuous daily activities within a week.
“Women don’t have to get large incisions and go through a lot of pain to treat incontinence anymore,” Upputuri said. “Don’t be embarrassed to seek help.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.