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Urinary Incontinence

Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists

Located in Bellingham, WA - Serving the Pacific Northwest

Though urinary incontinence is more common in women, it also affects men. Regardless of gender, it’s an embarrassing problem that no one wants to talk about. At Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists, you can meet with male or female doctors who truly understand the problem and can help with effective treatments. Don’t continue to struggle with urinary incontinence, call the office in Bellingham, Washington, or book an appointment online today.

Urinary Incontinence

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What causes urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence refers to the loss of bladder control that results in urine leakage. Ongoing incontinence develops due to several possible problems. The muscles that control urination could be weak, your bladder might not hold as much as it used to, or it could be due to nerve damage.


Are there different types of urinary incontinence?

Yes, there are several types of urinary incontinence. Men and women can develop any type, but men tend to get urgency incontinence, while stress incontinence is more common in women.

Urgency incontinence

With this type of incontinence, you develop a sudden and very urgent need to urinate, followed by involuntary urine loss. Urgency incontinence, or overactive bladder, often develops when nerve signals make your bladder strongly contract without enough warning to get to the bathroom. In some cases, the urgency is triggered by hearing running water, drinking water, or being in a cold environment.

Stress incontinence

When you have stress incontinence, any pressure placed on your bladder can lead to urine leakage. Coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercising can all trigger the problem. Stress incontinence is caused by a weak urinary sphincter or weakened pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder and help control urination.


Bulkamid is a urethral bulking agent that is used to treat stress urinary incontinence. It is a soft, water-based gel that can be used to restore the natural closing of the urethra. Learn more (link to bulkamid).

Mixed incontinence

You can also develop mixed incontinence, which means you have both stress and urgency incontinence.


How is urinary incontinence treated?

Before determining your customized treatment plan, the doctors at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists perform urodynamic studies to determine the cause and severity of your incontinence. Urodynamic studies provide important information about urine flow, bladder function, and the pressure inside your bladder.

Your treatment can include one or more of these options:

  • Axonics® - Sacral neuromodulation
  • Adequate hydration to produce more than 1.5 liters of urine output a day
  • Behavioral training such as scheduled voiding, fluid management, delayed urination
  • Botox® to relax bladder muscles
  • High fiber diet of 25 grams or more a day
  • InterStim® - Sacral neuromodulation
  • Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Medications to calm bladder muscles
  • Supplements like D-Mannose and cranberry tablets
  • Surgery to support the bladder
  • Urethral bulking
  • Vaginal Estrogen decreases the risk of recurrent UTIs by 60%

If you want to learn more about how you can treat urinary incontinence, reach out to the team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists today by calling or booking an appointment online.