Mercy Urogynecologist Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann Discusses Diagnosing And Treating Urge Incontinence Or Overactive Bladder
Having an overactive bladder, which is also known as urge incontinence, is a common problem that can be treated in a variety of ways.
Many people live with urge incontinence, especially women, but no one really wants to talk about it. Quida Thomas said she initially didn't want to talk about it, even though it had become a big problem in her life.
"There was a lot of leakage, a lot of accidents, and I think the hardest part was going to the store and having to buy different products,” she said.
As embarrassing as living with an overactive bladder is, Thomas did eventually talk to her doctor with the hope that he could help.
"When something like this is interfering with your quality of life and you're not functioning the way you're supposed to be functioning on a day to day basis, you need to talk about it," Thomas said.
According to Mercy urogynecologist Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann, it's nothing of which anyone should be ashamed.
"Anywhere from 30-50 percent of women can experience symptoms of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. The problem is that health care professionals do not do a good job screening for this, and women don't often volunteer the information," Dr. Ellerkmann said.
In many instances, urinary incontinence and overactive bladder are manageable through changes in diet and behavior. With some women, it's as simple as doing pelvic exercises. If that doesn't work, there are other options.
"Overactive bladder tends to be treated more with medication, whereas stress-related urinary leakage that occurs from coughing or sneezing with abdominal pressure tends to be treated with surgery," Dr. Ellerkmann said.
Thomas had the surgery, and it changed her life.
"I am so pleased with what I had done. I wish I would have done it sooner rather than later," she said.
View Dr. Ellerkmann’s interview regarding urge incontinence or overactive bladder.
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.