Continence and Pelvic Floor Program

Urinary or bowel incontinence is a treatable condition that involves the involuntary loss of urine or fecal material. It is not an inevitable side effect of aging. With proper care, it can be treated and, in most cases, cured. Sentara offers a comprehensive therapy program to help.

Symptoms of Incontinence

  • Leakage during exercise, or while coughing, laughing, bending or sneezing
  • Feeling the need to urinate as often as six to eight times a day
  • Avoiding social activities for fear of leakage

Incontinence Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • High-impact physical activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Pelvic muscle weakness
  • Immobility from trauma, disease or surgery
  • Diminished cognitive skills
  • Side effects of prescriptions or over-the-counter medications

Conditions that benefit from treatment

  • Stress incontinence, causing leakage due to weakness of sphincter or pelvic floor muscles caused by injury, childbirth, prostate surgery or other conditions
  • Urge incontinence, causing the desire to urinate even when the bladder contains only a small amount of urine
  • Overflow incontinence, caused by blockage such as an enlarged prostate or growth, resulting in involuntary dribbling of urine, frequent urges and frequent urination
  • Related conditions such as: urinary urges and frequency without leakage, pelvic pain caused by full bladder, fecal incontinence, vulvar area pain and nighttime bed wetting

Continence and pelvic floor program treatment methods

  • A comprehensive evaluation of urinary habits and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Kegel exercises for pelvic floor strengthening and other muscle control exercises
  • Biofeedback to track performance of pelvic floor exercises and assure improved control
  • Electrical stimulation to reduce bladder irritation and strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Bladder retraining to increase length of time between urination
  • Behavioral modification to control urges
  • Education on bladder health and dietary influences

Sentara in the Community