Urinary Incontinence

If you are experiencing urine leakage then learn about the ways you can help it surgically and non-surgical.

My name is Kristen Wright. I am a Nurse Practitioner at Canyon View Women’s Care. I’m also Adjunct Faculty at BYU College of Nursing. So urinary incontinence basically means leaking urine. So there are some things that women can do to help improve their symptoms of urinary incontinence or leakage.

Number one is to avoid or to eliminate caffeine altogether. Caffeine is a stimulant and a mild diuretic. A chronic cough can be bad for women that have urinary incontinence, because a cough creates pressure on those pelvic floor muscles, and so if you think about women who have asthma or allergies or chronic bronchitis, that coughing, that constant stimulation of those muscles,creates weakness and pressure there. Avoiding chronic constipation is also important, and it’s that continual urge and pressure on those pelvic floor muscles that can make things a little bit worse.

So at Canyon View Women’s Care,we do listen to women and their symptoms. It’s important to differentiate what types of problems they’re having so we know what is the best treatment option. Sometimes doing Kegel exercises is very helpful, tightening the pelvic floor muscles. And it’s important to do these where they tighten them on quick contractions, but then also tighten and hold it for about ten seconds. And doing this for four to six weeks can certainly help a lot of women that have urinary incontinence.

Sometimes that’s not enough and so there are pelvic floor specialists, particularly at the hospital, Timpanogos and Mountain View hospital, and they can help teach them how to build these muscles and to keep them stronger. Sometimes surgery is the best option, so talking to your provider is important so that you know what is the best option for you and the hospital facilities in Timpanogos and Mountain View are very good at taking care of women and helping to teach them how to take care of themselves when they have this surgery done.

Signs and Treatment for Menopause

So what is menopause? Menopause is actually just a day in a women’s life. It is a year after her last menstrual period. It also means that the rest of her life she will not have hormones and so,about 15% of the population really needs help with this.

They struggle with hot flashes,so some of the common symptoms are changes in menstrual cycle and flow, which means 90% of women are going to have some change that way. About 75% of women are going to have some kind of hot flash, and hot flashes are described as being just this really hot feeling that starts from inside, and goes to the outside.

Some women actually describe them as cold flushes,so it could depend on you, how you experience them. A lot of women will say that they have changes in sexual function, that libido goes down or, they have vaginal dryness, so there are ways that we can help them through that time. A lot of women will come to me and say, “Oh my gosh, I’m gaining weight” And it comes right here in the middle. “And that is a fairly common thing, so knowing that that is what’s in the cards, educating them as far as things that will change is helpful for them to know, so that they can institute methods top revent that from happening.

There are a lot of therapies that are out there. There are over-the-counter medications,there are complimentary alternative medications available, there are FDA-approved drugs, there are sometimes hormones is a great way to help with hot flashes. About 30 to 50% of women will stop having hot flashes within a year of menopause.

There are about 85% of women within the next four to five years who don’t need any type of treatment. And really we’re treating symptoms. We’re helping women to get through this transition period a little bit more graceful, and a little bit easier.

Annual Women’s Health Exams

So it’s important for women to have routine exams and screenings for several reasons. Number one is, our life is busy. We are crazy running around trying to keep up with things,and if we don’t talk to a healthcare provider,then we sometimes forget the things that are important for our health to make us feel healthy and strong. So some things that should be checked on a routine basis,you should know what your blood pressure is,and what’s normal. Another important thing is a BMI. BMI stands for Body Mass Index,so that tells relatively how appropriate your weight is for your height.

Besides the fact of testing for breast cancer,there are other cancers that we’re screening for, too. So Pap smears, the recommendations on that have changed over the years, and so it makes it hard for women to know what to do. Now the recommendation is at age 21, we’ll do a Pap smear on women,and it’s every three years, up until age 30,and then at age 30, it could be every three to five years.

Other cancers that we can look for are ovarian cancers. This is one that scares most women,because you don’t have overt signs of it. It’s something that’s a little bit more hidden, and there is not a great screening tool for this, but we use a combination of sometimes a blood test, sometimes it’s ultrasonography, and sometimes it’s just a bimanual exam, where we can evaluate if the ovaries and the uterus seem normal. So that’s why, around age 40ish, it’s still a good idea to go in every year and have a routine exam. There are some genetic tests available for breast cancer. Only about 5% of breast cancers are actually genetically induced,but these women who do have those potential genetic factors,it’s very important to know that.