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Female Bladder Health

Urinary incontinence in women It is a condition that many women choose to ignore, but incontinence is a widespread disorder that may affect one in five women. It is likely that the true number of people affected is much higher. Many women do not seek help about their urinary incontinence due to embarrassment. Urinary incontinence can have a devastating effect restricting personal and social life for fear of an embarrassing leakage. Yet many women regardless of age put up with incontinence needlessly, thinking it’s a normal part of having children, going into menopause or a normal part of ageing that cannot be treated.

Bladder control problems are something most people are reluctant to talk about, even with their doctors. Yet having that discussion can help you find a solution to the problem and get you back out into the world again.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence in women. It is estimated that about three million people in the UK are regularly incontinent. Well over half of these are due to stress incontinence.  If you suffer from stress incontinence you may find you leak urine with things like coughing, sneezing or exercise. Stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder are weakened. Childbirth is a common reason for a weak pelvic floor. As many as 1 in 5 women over the age of 40 have some degree of stress incontinence. The main treatment for stress incontinence is bladder training, medication or surgery to tighten or support the bladder outlet.

Urge incontinence (Overactive Bladder or OAB)

The second most common type of incontinence in women is urge incontinence also known as overactive bladder (OAB). With urge incontinence you experience a sudden urgency to pass urine. Urine may leak before you have time to get to the toilet. Treatment is different to that of stress incontinence.

Mixed incontinence

Some women can suffer from both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. This is known as mixed incontinence.


Painful bladder syndrome (PBS)/Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

The pain from interstitial cystitis and the debilitating impact it can have is poorly understood, often underestimated and the diagnosis often delayed. Fortunately, we have good, effective treatments for both PBS and IC. Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and alleviate chronic suffering which many patients endure over many years.

Urethral diverticulum

A urethral diverticulum is a pouch-like sac which develops from the female urethra – the tube carrying urine out of the body. The diverticulum does not empty properly during voiding and as a result may cause problems with repeated infections, dribbling and pain during sexual intercourse. Bladder Prolapse  is a fairly common condition, with an estimated 30 per cent of women who have had children, being affected by a degree of prolapse. The condition becomes more common with age, especially after the menopause, but is rare in women who have not had children.

Getting help

If you wish to make an appointment to seek further advice and or treatment, please contact Mr Ockrim’s secretary.