Incontinence Specialist

Midwest Urogynecology

John P. Judd, MD

Gynecologist & Urogynecologist located in St. Louis, MO

Incontinence, whether urinary or fecal, can range from occasional embarrassment to frequent full emptying of your bladder before you can reach a restroom. Luckily, numerous treatment options are available. John Judd, MD, provides effective options for incontinence for patients at Midwest Urogynecology in St. Louis. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment using the online scheduler.

Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing problem in which you lose control of your bladder. Symptoms can range from leaking urine occasionally when you sneeze or cough to more severe issues in which the urge to urinate is so strong, your bladder fully empties before you can reach a toilet.

Who gets urinary incontinence?

Most anyone can experience urinary incontinence, but it becomes more likely with age, pregnancy, childbirth with vaginal delivery, menopause, and medical conditions such as an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Neurological conditions, such as a brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease, spinal injury, or stroke can also trigger its symptoms. Temporary urinary incontinence is a common symptom of urinary tract infections.

Other risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of urinary incontinence
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use

Temporary symptoms can stem from consuming certain foods and drinks such as alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, citrus fruits, chocolate, or spicy or sugary foods, or certain medications. Taking large doses of vitamin C can also cause symptoms.

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Treatment for urinary incontinence varies, depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms. If you have a urinary tract infection, for example, antibiotics should relieve your symptoms. For longer-lasting symptoms, Dr. Judd may recommend:

  • Bladder training exercises
  • Botox® injections in your bladder muscles
  • Dietary changes such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and acidic fare
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises
  • Scheduled trips to the toilet
  • Surgery, for severe cases

What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is a lot like urinary incontinence, only you lose control over your bowel movements. You might only occasionally leak stool or, in severe cases, lose complete control of your bowel movements. While it can affect most anyone, it’s most common in elderly people.

Common causes include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or nerve damage associated with aging or childbirth

How is fecal incontinence treated?

Depending on the case, Dr. Judd may recommend one of the following options:

  • Antidiarrheal medications
  • Bowel training
  • Bulk-forming laxatives
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercises for improved muscle strength
  • Injectable bulking agents
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Surgery
  • Vaginal balloon

Lifestyle steps such as tracking your food in a journal to determine trigger foods, getting plenty of fiber, staying well-hydrated, keeping your anus skin clean and dry, and Kegel exercises can also help.