Donate to Incontinence Research, Patient Care and Education

More than 13 million people in the United States are affected by urinary incontinence or the lack of ability to control the discharge of urine from the bladder. Urinary incontinence is twice as likely in women and more prevalent in older people. There are many different ways that people are affected by urinary incontinence, including:

  • Urge urinary incontinence: Sudden impulse to urinate
  • Stress urinary incontinence: Caused by events like coughing, exercising, laughing, and sneezing
  • Overflow urinary incontinence: Inability to fully empty the bladder
  • Mixed urinary incontinence: A combination of types of urinary incontinence
  • Functional urinary incontinence: An impairment makes it difficult to make it to the toilet in time
  • Total incontinence: Lack of control over the bladder both day and night

At Northwestern Medicine, the physician-scientists involved with the Urology Program provide leading-edge care to patients and conduct front-line research into urinary incontinence and other disorders of the urinary system. When you make a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to ensure the continuation of this superior level of care and research.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by deterioration of the nerve that signals the muscles controlling the output of urine. A number of factors may be responsible for this damage, including a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, surgery, injury, medication, diabetes, kidney disease or a neurological disorder or tumor. Other causes in women include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or gynecologic surgery. Prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate may cause incontinence in men.

The urologists at Northwestern Medicine offer numerous treatments to relieve symptoms and aid in regaining control of the bladder for people coping with incontinence. Among the treatments commonly used for incontinence are the following:

  • Bladder training: Learning to resist the urge to urinate and then expand the intervals between going.
  • Kegel exercises: Daily exercising of the pelvic muscles
  • Biofeedback: Usually combined with Kegel exercises to help control the pelvic muscles
  • Vaginal weight training: Small weights are used to help tighten the vaginal muscles
  • Pelvic floor stimulation: Electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions
  • Dietary Modifications: Elimination of certain foods and beverages such as alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. A high fiber diet and plenty of water are recommended.
  • Botox therapy: Botox is used to paralyze the bladder to stop overactive bladder symptoms
  • Medication: Certain drugs are used for incontinence along with estrogen therapy
  • Surgery: May be used for structural problems related to the bladder

Incontinence Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Your generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to ensure the continued excellence of Northwestern Medicine’s Urology Program and will ensure that patients suffering from incontinence continue to receive the very finest, most complete care at Northwestern Medicine.

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