Urinary Incontinence Specialist

B. Robert Bamshad, MD

Urologist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

Millions of men and women suffer from urinary incontinence, but today, there are plenty of safe and effective treatment options. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Bamshad helps patients from throughout the Greater Los Angeles, CA, region understand the causes of their incontinence and receive the most appropriate care to relieve symptoms.

Urinary Incontinence Q & A

What causes urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can develop for different reasons, including the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles due to age or weight gain, hormonal changes, nerve damage or certain types of diseases. In women, vaginal childbirth can be a primary cause. There are four primary types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence causes bladder leakage as a result of coughing, sneezing, laughing or some types of physical activity including sexual intercourse. This type of incontinence usually occurs as a result of problems with the pelvic floor muscles which may become weakened or damaged from childbirth, nerve-related diseases, weight gain, hormonal changes or age.
  • Urge incontinence (also called overactive bladder) causes persistent and frequent urges to urinate, even during the night. People with urge incontinence typically must wake from sleep several times a night to empty their bladder. An enlarged prostate is another common cause of nighttime urination, and a comprehensive exam can determine if symptoms might be due to the prostate rather than an underlying bladder problem.
  • Mixed incontinence includes symptoms of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
  • Overflow incontinence, caused by the leakage of urine from an overfilled bladder.

How is urinary incontinence diagnosed?

Urinary incontinence can be diagnosed using different methods depending on the symptoms. Blood work and urinalysis are usually ordered, and minimally-invasive office procedures may be performed to look inside the bladder and urethra and to measure how well the bladder retains urine. Urinary flow and output will also be measured.

How is urinary incontinence treated?

Treatment depends on the type of incontinence, the severity of symptoms and other factors, and may include:

  • pelvic floor exercises
  • nerve stimulation
  • oral medications
  • surgery

Lifestyle changes including weight loss and bladder training techniques may also be recommended. Many patients benefit from a treatment routine that includes different approaches to achieve the most benefits. Treatment plans will be carefully constructed based on the patient's needs, health history, and other factors.