Urinary incontinence is leaking urine, which can be categorized as only a few drops or a complete emptying of the bladder.


Unfortunately, urinary incontinence generally carries other symptoms, including a strong urgency to urinate; an increase in frequency of urination; dysuria, painful urination; nocturia, waking from sleep to urinate; and nocturnal enuresis, leaking of urine during sleep.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

There are different forms of urinary incontinence:

  1. Stress Urinary Incontinence – leaking urine while laughing, sneezing or coughing (or during exercise)
  2. Urgency Urinary Incontinence – a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate
  3. Mixed Incontinence – a combination of both stress and urgency urinary incontinence.

Your urinary incontinence could be caused by a urinary tract infection; alcohol, caffeine or a diuretic medication; constipation; anatomical problems; neuromuscular conditions; or pelvic floor disorders like pelvic organ prolapse.

Treatment and Testing for Urinary Incontinence

A pelvic exam may be administered to check for organ prolapse and other anatomical problem. A cough test may also be administered. During a cough test, you’ll be asked to cough and bear down with a full bladder to see if there are any urine leaks.


Nonsurgical treatment is generally advised to treat urinary incontinence, which includes:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Bladder training
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication (for urgency urinary incontinence)
  • Pessaries, which support the walls of your vagina to lift the bladder and urethra

If these options aren’t effective, your doctor may also suggest surgery.

Surgeries to treat stress urinary incontinence include:

  • Slings – Created from your own tissue or synthetic materials can be used to lift and provide support for the urethra.
  • Colposuspension – Stitches are placed on either side of the bladder neck and fixed to supporting structures to lift the urethra into place.

If surgery is not an option, your doctor may suggest urethral bulking, which acts to plump up the urethra, narrowing the opening, thereby decreasing leakage.

For urgency urinary incontinence, other surgeries are available. These include:

  • Sacral neuromodulation – A thin wire is placed under the skin of the lower back, close to the nerve that controls the bladder. This wire is connected to a battery device nearby. The device sends an electrical signal along the wire to strengthen and improve bladder function.
  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) – Similar to acupuncture, this procedure uses a small needle to stimulate the pelvic floor. The needle is inserted near an ankle nerve and connected to a special machine. PTNS requires 30-minute office sessions, weekly, for 1-2 months.

NOTE: Sylacauga OB-GYN does not perform all surgeries listed above. Depending on your unique situation, we may refer you to one of our partners. We will provide guidance on your options. 

Find Relief from Incontinence with Sylacauga OB-GYN

If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, our staff at Sylacauga OB-GYN can walk you through your options and determine a solution that’s right for you. For over a decade, we’ve been a leader in effective, quality women’s healthcare in Sylacauga.

To schedule your appointment or to ask questions, give us a call or email us at [email protected].