How Do I Know if I Need Help?
The Good Samaritan Hospital Women’s Center For Bladder & Pelvic Health makes it easy for women to
seek care in a supportive, professional, comfortable setting.
Recognizing bladder and pelvic health as a growing issue among women, Lifestages and its long-time partner Good Samaritan Hospital established the Women’s Center For Bladder & Pelvic Health. The center, which combines the expertise of Lifestages medical team with the resources of a full-service hospital, makes it easy for women to seek care in a supportive, professional, comfortable setting.
We offer our patients:
- Physicians, nurses and technicians with advanced training in women’s bladder and pelvic health
- A multidisciplinary approach including physical therapy and nutrition counseling
- The latest diagnostic technology
- Multiple treatment options
No woman should suffer needlessly with bladder or pelvic health problems or be embarrassed to seek help. It is our hope to end the taboo that has surrounded these conditions and to bring relief and peace of mind to many women who otherwise might suffer in silence.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
As muscles are weakened with normal aging and childbirth, pelvic organs may slip or protrude into the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse also may be caused by obesity, chronic cough and chronic constipation with straining.
|Cystocele: The bladder drops into the vagina.
||Uterine Prolapse: The uterus drops into the vagina.
|Rectocele: The rectum bulges into the vagina.
Painful Bladder Syndrome
This chronic syndrome used to be called interstitial cystitis. It is thought to be an inflammation of the bladder wall. The exact cause is unknown and the severity of symptoms can fluctuate and may even disappear for periods of time. Painful bladder syndrome is sometimes confused with overactive bladder because the patient may experience frequency and urgency. A woman with painful bladder syndrome, however, may have a greater need to empty her bladder repeatedly during the night than does a woman with overactive bladder.
Painful Bladder Syndrome symptoms:
- Pain, pressure, discomfort or a burning sensation that may increase as bladder fills and is alleviated temporarily by urinating
- Lower abdominal pain that sometimes extends to the lower back
- Pain in the vagina, urethra and rectum
- A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Urinary Incontinence
Usually, a woman can hold urine in her bladder until she is ready to “go” It may seem like a simple thing to do, but actually requires a number of functioning systems – strong pelvic muscles, a healthy bladder, a strong urethra that opens and closes properly, and brain and nerve control over the whole process. If one or more of these systems isn’t working properly, an involuntary loss of urine – urinary incontinence (UI) – can occur. UI can be light or heavy, regular or occasional. It can interfere with activities of daily life, work and travel. The emotional impact of UI – due to embarrassment and loss of self-esteem – can be devastating.
UI has several triggers:
- Stress incontinence is leaking associated with coughing, sneezing, jumping, heavy lifting and exercise. It can occur when the urethra is not well supported and cannot close properly, thus allowing urine to leak. This failure to completely shut off the flow of urine happens when muscles around the urethra are weak or when weak pelvic floor muscles allow the bladder and urethra to shift from their proper position. Physical changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy and menopause can contribute to stress incontinence.
- Urge incontinence involves a sudden strong urge to urinate caused by bladder spasms, followed by an uncontrolled loss of urine. People with urge incontinence may need to urinate often, especially during the night. Urge incontinence, also called overactive bladder, can worsen with anxiety. Urinary tract infections, bladder irritants, the slippage of pelvic organs (prolapse), bowel problems and some medications may cause urge incontinence. When stress incontinence and urge incontinence occur at the same time, the condition is called mixed incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder fills normally but does not empty properly.I n this case, urine flow is usually weak and may be a constant dribble. If the pelvic organs have slipped out of place (prolapse), they may be blocking the normal flow of urine. In some cases, however, the bladder muscle may not contract normally or there may be no sensation to empty the bladder. People with nerve damage from diabetes, stroke or spinal injuries sometimes suffer from overflow incontinence. Some prescription medications can cause this condition as well.
Urinary Incontinence at a Glance
You May Have This If You:
- Leak or lose urine during physical movement
- Leak or lose urine at unexpected times
- Have both stress and urge incontinence
- Leak small amounts of urine unexpectedly