Bladder and Pelvic Health
Ridgeview’s Bladder and Pelvic Health Program, a collaboration of Western OB/GYN (A Division of Ridgeview Clinics), Lakeview Clinic and Urology Associates, Ltd., is committed to helping women like you live your life to the fullest. Our team of obstetricians, urogynecologists, primary health care providers, nurse specialists and physical therapists will work closely with you to treat your symptoms, ease your discomfort and improve your quality of life.
Our program involves a combination of dietary modifications, medications, physical and behavioral therapies; sometimes a patient might require a surgical or minimally invasive procedure to treat her condition. Whatever your concern, our specialists are trained to evaluate and treat the entire spectrum of urinary and reproductive tract disorders. We also treat abnormal pelvic pressure or discomfort that may be caused by protruding organs or bulging tissues within the vaginal or rectal areas. In men, urinary tract symptoms might indicate a problem with the prostate. We offer many treatment options for prostate conditions as well.
According to a 2007 report commissioned by the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC), more than one-third of all women will experience at least one pelvic health disorder (PHD) in her lifetime. These can range from minor inflammation to more complex conditions such as menstrual or urinary irregularities, and can be attributed to factors like pregnancy and childbirth, genetics, obesity, medications and surgical complications.
This report also suggests that many PHDs may be considerably underdiagnosed in American women, perhaps because of a lack of awareness or because of a perceived stigma associated with these conditions. Reluctance to consult a physician about symptoms associated with pelvic health disorders can complicate the treatment and overall understanding of these disorders and their impact.
Since many of the risk factors for pelvic health disorders correlate with age, the Baby Boomer generation is currently in the phase of life with the highest rate of onset for PHDs. So Ridgeview wants women like you to know how common these conditions really are, and more importantly, about the treatment options we have available to you.
Learn How Our Program Can Help You
Incontinence and Other Bladder Conditions
Disorders of the bladder are more prevalent than you might think; learn more about some of these conditions and how they can be treated.
- The bladder is held in place by ligaments attached to other organs and the pelvic bones. When healthy, your bladder can comfortably store up to two cups of urine for up to five hours. However, many factors, like aging, illness or injury, can cause disorders of the bladder, which can range from easy-to-treat to life threatening:
- Urinary Incontinence—loss of bladder control or involuntarily passing urine is a symptom rather than a disease in itself. Women are affected by urinary incontinence much more often than men. In fact, statistics say that up to 20 million U.S. women suffer with frustrating and embarrassing urinary incontinence—a sudden leak from coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising, or a light trickle throughout the day that requires you to wear a sanitary mini pad. Various causes include birth defects, pelvic surgery, injuries to the pelvic region or spinal cord, neurological diseases, multiple sclerosis, infection and degenerative changes associated with aging. Incontinence can also result from pregnancy or childbirth. If you are one of the 20 million women with urinary incontinence, you clearly are not alone. And you don't need to suffer in silence anymore. Ridgeview's Bladder & Pelvic Health Program can treat most incontinence diagnoses with medication, physical therapy, surgery or a combination of these. Here is a brief overview of the types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): This is the most common form of urinary incontinence, so you’re not alone if you’re experiencing involuntary leakage of urine when you sneeze, laugh, cough or exercise. SUI has two basic underlying causes, which can coexist. Pelvic muscles and connective tissue that support the bladder and urethra can weaken or tear loose, allowing the bladder and urethra to move from a normal pelvic position. Abnormalities in the urethral sphincter can also cause SUI.
- Urge Incontinence: You might feel a frequent, urgent need to urinate and may experience urinary leakage if you cannot get to the bathroom in time.
- Overflow Incontinence: You urinate in small amounts in a dribbling stream and never feel that you completely empty your bladder.
- Mixed: Multiple forms of incontinence combined.
Other very common bladder conditions include:
- Cystitis (Bladder Infection)—this is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by bacteria in the bladder and treated with antibiotics. Drinking lots of fluids also helps to flush out the bacteria. Women tend to get UTIs much more often than men.
- Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis (PBS/IC)—a chronic bladder disorder also known as frequency-urgency-dysuria syndrome. In this disorder, the bladder wall can become inflamed and irritated. The inflammation can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder, decreased bladder capacity, pinpoint bleeding and, in rare cases, ulcers in the bladder lining. The cause of this condition is unknown.
- Bladder Cancer—the sixth most common cancer in the United States. Treatments for bladder cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and biologic therapy. Symptoms usually include blood in your urine, a frequent urge to urinate, pain when you urinate and lower back pain. Contact your physician right away if you have any symptoms indicative of this serious disease.
Pelvic Health Disorders
Pelvic Health Disorders include conditions such as menorrhagia, fibroid tumors, pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence[A1] —and they're a lot more common than you might think. Learn how we can help.
Whatever your age, the health of your reproductive and urinary organs is important. But, like so many women, you might not often think about your pelvic health until it’s time to schedule your annual gynecologic exam—unless you’re experiencing a problem.
Pelvic health disorders (PHDs) occur in your pelvic region—the vagina, uterus, urethra and bladder. With every pregnancy, delivery and decade, a woman’s organs can shift, hormones will fluctuate and the risk of pelvic health issues increases. These disorders can plague women like you with uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing symptoms, and significantly affect your quality of life.
Think about it:
- Do you feel heaviness in your lower abdomen, almost as if something within you is dropping, or unexplained pelvic pressure or pain?
- Does a little urine escape when you laugh, sneeze or cough?
- Do you tend to limit your activities when you have your period for fear of having an “accident?”
- Do you experience severe cramps or heavy bleeding each month?
- Is sexual intercourse painful?
- Do you have trouble inserting or retaining tampons?
- Are you often constipated?
If you answered "yes" to any of these and think you may have pelvic health condition, it's important to get a proper diagnosis. You need to see a doctor with experience in treating such disorders.
Ridgeview’s Bladder and Pelvic Health Program is a collaboration of Western OB/GYN (A Division of Ridgeview Clinics), and Lakeview Clinic and Urology Associates, Ltd. Our specialists address each patient’s specific needs and will provide you with personalized treatment options. Our physical therapists are specially trained in managing pelvic health conditions and using techniques that focus on retraining the pelvic floor muscles and improving bladder relaxation.
Ridgeview's Bladder and Pelvic Health specialists practice in Waconia, Chaska, Chanhassen, Delano and Spring Park; call us at 952-442-8083 or contact us online.
- National Women's Health Resource Center:
- Pelvic Health Awareness: What's Going on Down There?