So You’ve Finally Had Enough
What’s in It for You?
You’ve just picked up this book, and you’re giving it a quick once-over, trying to decide whether or not to purchase it. Here are five compelling reasons why you should grab this copy and read it from cover to cover:
1. It’s honest, direct, and to the point.
2. It’s co-authored by an understanding, sympathetic expert in gynecology and urology and by a completely satisfied, virtually cured patient.
3. You can understand what’s being said because we’ve eliminated unnecessary medical mumbo jumbo.
4. It includes the latest, up-to-the-minute information available on this topic.
5. The approach is user-friendly.
Recent studies indicate that as many as 30 percent of all women are affected by incontinence. Undoubtedly this is an underestimate, since most women are just too embarrassed to seek help. You don’t have to be one of them.
This book seeks to educate women of all ages about the many causes of incontinence and the variety of treatment options available. In chapter 1, we define incontinence and explain some of the primary
factors that can cause it. We also discuss some of the myths and legends surrounding incontinence.
Chapter 2 explores the female urinary tract and explains the anatomical components of this complex system. We discuss how the brain and spinal cord coordinate the muscles and organs that regulate the flow of urine.
Chapter 3 addresses the conditions and causes of incontinence in women. We discuss risk factors, chemicals that stimulate the urge to urinate, and how natural events in the body, such as pregnancy and menopause, can affect incontinence.
In chapter 4, we discuss the process of selecting a physician to treat your incontinence, as well as what to expect from the initial round of tests that will be performed. You’ll review a list of questions to ask potential physicians and learn what questions you should expect from your physician.
Stress incontinence is one of the most common diagnoses that incontinent women receive, so we devote chapter 5 to a discussion of the definition, triggers, sources, and results of stress incontinence.
We differentiate between minimal, moderate, and severe forms of the condition and discuss a variety of treatment options.
The second most common form of incontinence is urge incontinence, the frequent sensation that urination is imminent and cannot be postponed for long. And though it is rare that an actual cause can be determined for urge incontinence, in chapter 6 we discuss likely sources that exacerbate the condition and some potential treatments.
Aside from the two common forms of incontinence, there are other types of urinary incontinence, which we review in chapter 7. These conditions vary widely in their symptoms and preferred methods of treatment.
At the other end of the spectrum from incontinence is urinary retention, a condition in which the bladder does not empty properly. In chapter 8, we examine the symptoms, likely causes, and remedies for this condition.
More than 5.5 million Americans suffer from fecal incontinence, so we devote chapter 9 to a frank discussion of this condition. Because physicians’ methods for diagnosing this ailment obviously differ from the tests we’ve discussed for urinary incontinence, we’ll cover the procedures and examinations you could expect to undergo during a preliminary diagnosis. Because some symptoms of fecal incontinence can be managed with dietary adjustments, we review changes you can easily make with the approval of your physician.
Because of the complications and risks inherent in surgery, it’s best to avoid surgical treatments for incontinence if at all possible. So chapter 10 explores the wide variety of nonsurgical treatment options for urinary incontinence. Physical therapy, behavior modification, voiding diaries, bladder training, Kegel exercises, vaginal cones and weights, biofeedback devices, pessaries, and forms of medication are all safe and effective treatments for incontinence, and we discuss them in turn.
Unfortunately, despite any number of safer treatments considered or tried, patients must sometimes undergo surgery to achieve the control over incontinence they desire; we discuss such conditions in chapter 11. Surgery for incontinence is almost always an elective treatment option, though it is a medical necessity in rare circumstances. We review some of the different forms of surgical treatment and the risks and outcomes that surgical patients can expect.
Chapter 12 considers some naturally occurring conditions that lend themselves to incontinence, such as pregnancy, menopause, and illnesses such as interstitial cystitis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. We also discuss the implications of birth defects like spina bifida and other medical conditions like strokes and Alzheimer’s.
Throughout this book, we employ a number of boxed elements to draw your attention to topics of interest. One of the most common of these are Tech Terms, which define important terminology surrounding incontinence. Q & A boxes complement frequently asked questions about incontinence with straight-talk answers. Dos and Don’ts offer practical tips for dealing with situations surrounding the management and treatment of incontinence. In the Believe It or Not boxes, Gail recounts some of her more dramatic experiences with incontinence; they make you laugh or cry, but they’ll definitely assure you that you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing. Finally, each chapter concludes
with The Wrap-Up, a summary of the most important points to remember.
Now that we’ve explained the intent of our book, we encourage you to turn the page and begin what we hope will be an educational and ultimately healing experience.
To buy this book ...