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Bladder and Pelvic Health

The Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) Women’s Center for Bladder and Pelvic Health makes it easy for women to seek care in a supportive, professional and comfortable environment.

The Women’s Center for Bladder and Pelvic Health at GSH is changing the way women manage uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, medical problems including:

Over a lifetime, three out of four women report some degree of urinary leakage. One out of three may experience pelvic organ prolapse. As common as these conditions are, women often do not talk about them―even to their doctors―until the situation is so serious they simply have no choice. However, there is no need for women to suffer in silence.

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Diagnostic Procedures

The Women’s Center for Bladder and Pelvic Health uses a range of diagnostic techniques. Based on the patient’s history and symptoms, the physician determines which tests are best for the patient.

  • One-day or three-day bladder diaries for patients to record fluid intake and output, urgency, frequency of leaks and activities that cause them
  • Urinalysis to check for signs of infection or blood
  • Urodynamic study, which measures urine flow, bladder storage capacity and muscle strength
  • Cystoscopy, which allows the physician to examine the inside of your bladder using a small lighted camera that is inserted through the urethra (the tube through which urine is discharged)
  • Pelvic ultrasound, which allows the physician to visualize pelvic anatomy such as the uterus and ovaries

All of these diagnostic procedures are outpatient procedures. The urodynamic study is performed by trained technicians. A cystoscopy is performed by a physician. The results are then evaluated by the patient’s physician.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the accidental leakage of urine. There are several types of urinary incontinence including:

  • Stress incontinence – the accidental leakage of urine due to stress on the bladder that may happen with sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising.
  • Urge incontinence - a sudden urge to urinate followed by the uncontrolled loss of urine. This can occur along with stress incontinence.
  • Functional incontinence – an urgent need to urinate related to physical or mental limitations such as severe arthritis or stroke.
  • Overflow incontinence - a constant dribble of urine, occurs when the bladder is unable to completely empty.


Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence 

A complete assessment of diet and fluid intake is part of every treatment plan. In addition, a physician may recommend:

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Medication
  • Nutrition counseling (Healthy Bladder) 
  • Bladder retraining/structured physical therapy (including biofeedback and Kegel exercises)

Outpatient Surgical Treatments

  • Placement of a mesh sling to help support the urethra
  • Implantation of a device to stimulate the sacral nerve, which controls the bladder

Treatment Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is when the pelvic muscles weaken due to childbirth, chronic coughing, obesity or the straining caused by constipation. When this occurs, organs such as the bladder, rectum, intestines and uterus can fall out of position and bulge into the vagina. Prolapse causes discomfort, even pain, and may trigger incontinence.

The severity and effect of the prolapse as well as the patient’s general health are important considerations when choosing a treatment.

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Use of a removable support device (pessary)
  • Kegel exercises for pelvic muscles 

Surgical Treatments

  • Cystocele repair for bladder bulging into vagina
  • Rectocele repair for rectum bulging into vagina
  • Graft or mesh support when muscles are too weak to repair

Treatment Options for Painful Bladder Syndrome

Painful bladder syndrome is also known as interstitial cystitis. It is characterized by an inflammation of bladder tissue. Symptoms include a persistent and urgent need to urinate, frequent urination (especially at night), pain during intercourse and pelvic pain that is often relieved with urination.

Painful bladder syndrome has many causes. The Women’s Center for Bladder and Pelvic Health offers multiple approaches to meet each patient’s unique needs.

  • Medication – taken orally and/or placed directly in the bladder
  • Nerve stimulation to relieve pelvic pain and reduce frequency
  • Dietary changes
  • Stretching of the bladder with water or gas
  • Bladder retraining/structured physical therapy (including biofeedback and Kegel exercises)

Lifestages at Samaritan Centers for Women

Lifestages at Samaritan Centers for Women is nationally-recognized for clinical excellence, technological innovation and a comprehensive approach to health care for women of all ages. Learn more about Lifestages.

For More Information

If you are experiencing bladder control problems or pelvic discomfort, call for an appointment or ask your physician to refer you for an evaluation at the Good Samaritan Hospital Women’s Center for Bladder and Pelvic Health. Call us at (877) 474-9355 (GSH-WELL).

Learn About Bladder and Pelvic Health

The Premier Health Library offers a wealth of information about bladder and pelvic health. Learn about conditions, treatments, how to prepare for a surgery and much more.

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