Women with pelvic floor dysfunction can find help at the UI Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery Service. The pelvic floor can be damaged by childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or surgery.
Bladder and bowel problems may include:
- Urinary incontinence—leakage of urine
- Stress incontinence—leakage of urine during activities that “stress” the bladder such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting
- Urge incontinence—loss of urine preceded by a strong urge (also known as overactive bladder)
- Urgency—a powerful need to urinate immediately
- Frequency—the need to urinate more often than normal (more than every 2 hours or more than 7 times per day)
- Nocturia—waking up frequently (more than once) during the night to urinate
- Fecal incontinence—accidental loss of solid stool, liquid stool, or gas
Treatments for Incontinence
There are several options for treating incontinence. Pelvic muscle exercises or “Kegel” exercises involve tightening the muscles that help to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder. These muscles are often weak, which can contribute to incontinence and pelvic prolapse. Many women have difficulty isolating the correct muscle. Our trained physical therapists assist you in learning the correct exercise techniques and prescribing an individualized exercise program.
- Bladder training—this treatment involves teaching patients to urinate according to a timetable rather than based on urge.
- Dietary changes—avoiding items on our list of dietary irritants may improve bladder symptoms.
- Medications—several medications can be used to treat urge incontinence and overactive bladder.
- Surgery—another option to correct stress incontinence.
- Neuromodulation—a treatment to stimulate the nerve to the bladder for patients with urinary frequency, urge incontinence, and urinary retention. This may be performed through an office procedure or outpatient surgery.
Prolapse conditions may include:
- Cystocele—prolapse or bulging of the bladder into the vagina
- Rectocele—prolapse or bulging of the rectum into the vagina
- Enterocele—prolapse or bulging of the small intestine into a space between the rectum and vagina
- Uterine prolapse—prolapse or descent of the uterus into the vagina
Treatments for Prolapse
Pessaries are silicone rubber devices placed
in the vagina to help support the prolapsed vagina, bladder, rectum, or uterus.
When properly fitted and cared for, pessaries can be worn comfortably and
safely for many years. Surgery may also be recommended to correct a prolapse.
Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive care is also available at our Quad Cities location.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
Surgeons at UI Hospitals and Clinics use robot-assisted surgery technology extensively, performing many procedures previously carried out by means of open surgery. The state-of-the-art da Vinci® robotic systems give surgeons greater range of motion and more precise control of instruments.
Beginning in October 2012, several of our urogynecology services will be available for patients at Iowa River Landing. Located at the Coralville interchange on Interstate 80 (exit 242), UI Hospitals and Clinics - Iowa River Landing offers patients easy access, free parking, several amenities, and a state-of-the-art building for delivering outstanding patient care.