Mercy Urogynecologist Dr. Mark Ellerkmann Offers Treatment For Variety Of Bladder Health Issues
Mercy urogynecologist Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann
Bladder Health Week (Nov. 11-15, 2013) is a time to be informed of bladder conditions and be proactive in seeking treatment. Not all bladder control problems are alike Problems may be caused due to weak muscles, damaged nerves or medications that can dull the nerves.
Bladder health problems can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including:
Temporary incontinence. Urinary tract infections can result in frequent and sudden urination that you can't control. You may also experience temporary incontinence when trying a new medication that has the unexpected side effect of increasing urination. These problems abate as soon as the cause is found and corrected.
Stress Incontinence. You may leak urine when laughing, sneezing, coughing, exercising or doing some physically strenuous activity that places stress on the bladder. Women with weak pelvic and sphincter muscles are unable to handle the extra pressure that occurs when sneezing, coughing, etc., and the result is leakage.
When you are experiencing sudden strong urges to urinate, you may have urge incontinence. This is typically caused by nerve damage to the bladder as may result from diabetes, infections, stroke, or other medical issues. Patients who suffer leakage due to a combination of both weak muscles and nerve damage are said to suffer from “mixed” incontinence.
If you find yourself needing to urinate eight or more times a day, or you need to frequently void your bladder each night, you may have overactive bladder. If this condition comes with a feeling of urgency, you may also have urge incontinence. Finally, if your leakage problem is due to issues with mobility, that is, difficulty getting to the bathroom because you can’t walk or have similar problems, you have functional incontinence.
The only way to get a definite diagnosis is to see your doctor. Talking about bladder control problems can be uncomfortable for people who feel embarrassed, but it’s important to talk to your doctor so you can receive appropriate treatment.
Make sure you present your doctor with information about any and all medications you may be taking; details about what and how much you drink (sodas, coffee, alcohol, tea, water, etc.) Your primary care physician may recommend you see a specialist like a urologist or urogynecologist, someone who specializes in the treatment of women’s urinary conditions.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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