Incontinence Specialist

Estelle Archer, MD

Gynecologists located in Amarillo, TX

If urine leaks happen at inconvenient times and are embarrassing, you don’t have to live with it. At her self-titled practice in Amarillo, Texas, Estelle Archer, MD, FACOG, uses various noninvasive methods to treat urinary incontinence and improve your quality of life. Call her office to learn more, or book an appointment online today.

Incontinence Q & A

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control. It’s common, but often an embarrassing problem. Urinary incontinence can happen to anybody but is commonly associated with increasing age. Several types of urinary incontinence exist:

Overflow incontinence

If you have overflow incontinence, you may slowly leak urine because your bladder doesn’t empty completely.

Functional incontinence

Function incontinence occurs when you have a health condition, such as arthritis or impaired mobility, that prevents you from getting to the bathroom in time.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence happens when you leak urine after sneezing, coughing, jumping, or lifting something heavy.

Urge incontinence

If you have urge incontinence, or an overactive bladder, you might experience sudden urges to urinate that are so strong you can’t make it to the bathroom in time.

What causes urinary incontinence?

Numerous factors can contribute to urinary incontinence, such as:

  • Advanced age
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Neurological disorders
  • A tumor
  • A hysterectomy or other gynecological surgery
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine
  • Being overweight
  • Genetic factors

Women are more than twice as likely as men to experience urinary incontinence. You might notice mild urine leaks or severe wetting.

What is the treatment for urinary incontinence?

If urinary incontinence negatively impacts your life, talk with Dr. Archer about treatment options. She may recommend:

Bladder training

Bladder training involves NOT going to the bathroom for 10 minutes when you feel the urge to urinate, to strengthen your bladder.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes that may reduce or eliminate urinary incontinence include increasing physical activity, losing weight if you’re overweight, and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine.

Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, such as kegel exercises, might help reduce stress (and possibly urge) incontinence. Squeeze muscles that hold in urine for 5-10 seconds and relax. Repeat the exercise at least 10 times, and complete three sets of it.

Electrical stimulation

Dr. Archer may recommend electrical stimulation, which uses electrodes to stimulate your pelvic floor muscles.

Oral medications

Taking certain medications may help reduce urinary incontinence by relaxing your bladder muscles.

Topical estrogen

Applying low-dose topical estrogen as a ring, patch, or cream, to vaginal tissue helps rejuvenate the area and reduce incontinence.

Injections

Receiving bladder (or surrounding tissue) injections may also ease urinary incontinence.

Surgery

Surgery, though often used as a last resort, may be a good option if other urinary incontinence treatments haven’t worked for you. Dr. Archer is highly experienced in gynecological surgery and lets you know if you’re a good candidate for it.

When you’re ready to find a solution for urinary incontinence and enjoy the activities you once loved, call Dr. Archer’s office today, or schedule an appointment online.