Female Bladder Problems: Why These Common Women’s Health Issues Lack Awareness
When it comes to women’s health, female bladder problems are not the most widely discussed. Given their commonality, however, more women in recent years have been seeking to learn more about these issues.
So to honor Bladder Health Month, it’s time to shine a light on issues that may not have as much awareness, but that are an equally important facet to women’s health — female bladder problems.
Do you experience incontinence when you cough, laugh, or exercise? Do you constantly have to urinate? Do you suffer from frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?
If you answered yes to any of these, you are suffering from a female bladder problem, and you are not alone. In fact, most women in their lives will experience some form of bladder issue, and the risk of experiencing these problems increases as women age. In fact, according to a study referenced in American Family Physician, 53.2 percent of women between the ages of 20 to 80 years old reported issues with urinary incontinence, specifically.
So the lack of awareness around these issues is not, in fact, indicative of a low prevalence. Many women are struggling, but the greater public is not hearing about it. Bolstering this point, the previous study went on to state that despite the commonality of the issue, fewer than half of the women surveyed sought medical attention for incontinence.
To understand why these issues are so common, it is important to have a broader understanding of female anatomy. The bladder is one of a woman’s pelvic muscles. The pelvic floor supports the bladder and the rest of a woman’s pelvic organs, and pelvic floor dysfunction is the inability to relax and coordinate the muscles in your pelvic floor.
So when a woman suffers from pelvic floor dysfunction, it can result in a number of female bladder problems, like the ones listed above. Pelvic floor dysfunction can happen to anyone. Pelvic region injury, obesity, nerve damage, and undergoing childbirth are all common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction.
The Reasons to Seek Treatment
Don’t let the prevalence of these issues make you assume they are undeserving of medical attention, either. Female bladder problems are not only uncomfortable, they can result in a number of other issues if left untreated.
Women suffering from bladder issues have noted an inability to participate in certain forms of physical activity, and some begin to avoid social situations due to fear of losing control of their bladder.
A woman’s sex life may also be comprimised if they are suffering from an untreated bladder problem. According to a study published in BJUI International, up to 25 percent of women suffering from an overactive bladder reported a decreased rate of sexual enjoyment.
The Treatment Options Available
So as awareness grows about female bladder problems, as does the focus on identifying effective treatment options.
One such treatment that has emerged in recent years is ThermiVA. ThermiVA is an FDA-approved, non-invasive procedure that uses controlled, radiofrequency energy to transfer heat to tissue, which promotes vaginal rejuvenation.
The study “ThermiVa: The Revolutionary Technology for Vulvovaginal Rejuvenation and Noninvasive Management of Female SUI” explored the efficacy of ThermiVa in the treatment of female bladder issues, specifically, stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The study’s findings state that after ThermiVa, “The newer, healthier tissue is stronger and more resistant to tearing; restoration of vaginal elasticity and ‘tightness’ is reported along with improved lubrication and transudate production, improvement in SUI, reduction in overactive bladder symptoms, and reduction of sexual dysfunction.”
The O Shot, a procedure for increasing sexual sensation in which the physician injects blood platelets into the vaginal tissue, has also been used successfully in recent years in treating SUI and mild urinary incontinence as well as urge urinary incontinence.
About Dr. Natalie Drake
A recognized OBGYN and leader for women’s health issues in the U.S. and Houston, Texas, Dr. Natalie Drake is a certified medical provider of ThermiVA. She has helped many women over the years manage and treat female bladder issues with this procedure and has helped many women increase sexual stimulation with the O Shot. Dr. Drake has many years of experience in the realm of women’s health and was associated with the Cleveland Clinic prior to opening her practice in The Woodlands, Texas.
Contact our office at (281) 203-5115 to schedule your appointment to discuss female bladder issues with Dr. Drake.