Urinary Incontinence Specialist

Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE -  - Vaginal Rejuvenation Center

RENUvaGYN

Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE

Vaginal Rejuvenation Center located in Seattle, WA

Whether you feel a constant urge to urinate, you have trouble making it to a bathroom, or you have to cross your legs every time you cough, you’re not alone. Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common condition that affects millions of women. While UI can be stressful or embarrassing, it isn’t a problem you have to live with. Board-certified gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su provides complete UI care to women at RENUvaGYN, a top-rated vaginal rejuvenation center in Seattle. Call or book your appointment online today.

Urinary Incontinence Q & A

by Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE

What is Urinary Incontinence, or UI?

Urinary incontinence involves the involuntary leaking of urine, either in the form of a few drops or something more severe. Also known as loss of bladder control or urinary leakage, UI may include:

  • A sudden urge to urinate that can’t always be controlled
  • Leaking urine before you can make it to the bathroom
  • Urine leakage while coughing or exercising, or during sex

What Causes UI in Women?

Women are twice as likely to develop UI as men, largely because of the stresses and hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Pregnancy can weaken pelvic floor muscles by increasing the amount of pressure they’re under, while vaginal childbirth can increase pelvic floor muscle weakness and even damage the nerves that control bladder function.

Although these effects typically heal within a few months of childbirth, they can persist, particularly for women who have had multiple pregnancies.

Menopause also makes older women more susceptible to UI, because lower estrogen levels can weaken urethral tissues and cause urinary control issues.      

Are There Different Types of UI?

UI is a problem that takes several forms, and the most common types are:

  • Stress Incontinence: This common form of UI occurs when physical movement puts pressure on the bladder. Women with stress incontinence typically leak urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or lift something heavy.
  • Urge Incontinence: Also known as an overactive bladder, urge incontinence involves the strong, sudden urge to urinate, followed by uncontrollable leakage. This type of UI sometimes happens when it’s least expected, such as during sleep or while you’re washing your hands.
  • Mixed Incontinence: Many women experience mixed incontinence, meaning they have symptoms of stress incontinence as well as urge incontinence.

What are Traditional UI Treatment Options?

In many cases, UI can be substantially improved with specific lifestyle changes, bladder training, physical therapy, or bladder support devices.

For example, performing Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles for better bladder control, while reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can lessen the need to urinate frequently.

You may be able to regain control by retraining your bladder, a process that involves going to the bathroom at set times, even when you don’t feel an urge. Losing weight can also help take pressure off your bladder.

How Can MonaLisa Touch® Help?

For many women, UI is directly linked to lower estrogen levels. In such cases, MonaLisa Touch laser therapy provides a safe and effective way to address the underlying cause of mild to moderate UI.

MonaLisa Touch delivers controlled laser energy to the tissues that line the vaginal wall to generate new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. In addition to restoring vaginal health and treating stress, urge, or mixed incontinence, MonaLisa Touch also helps address:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal laxity
  • Sexual pain
  • Chronic UTIs

Research shows that as many as three in four women find complete relief from their UI problem after just three MonaLisa Touch treatments sessions.