Let's Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

women will report urinary incontinence in their lifetime

Urinary incontinence means anything from a little leaking to a complete emptying of the bladder. While this issue is fairly common, it is not a necessary part of aging. The first step to treating the problem is understanding it.

Urinary Incontinence Doesn't Just Affect One Age Group

Pelvic issues can start as early as 30 and peak between the ages of 40 and 60. Many women believe this is just part of aging so reported cases drop off from here.

30
Pelvic issues can start as early as 30
40 - 60
They peak between the ages of 40 and 60
60+
Many women believe this is just a part of aging so reported cases drop off from here
Asset 2

Risk Factors

No two women are the same and neither are their bodies. Urinary incontinence and other pelvic disorders can start as early as 30 or as late as 80, and the cause is often unknown so it’s difficult to predict. However, certain factors that may put you at risk are:


Genetics


Exposure to and usage of Tobacco


Menopause


Vaginal births or multiple gestations


Unhealthy weight


Diet


Family history


Heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity

Symptoms start small but can worsen with time if left untreated

Urinary incontinence doesn’t happen overnight. In the beginning, you leak a little when you sneeze or cough.

Soon, you’re limiting the amount of water you drink because you can’t hold it in.

But after a while, you can’t play with your kids or be as active as you’d like because you’re worried about an accident.

You start wearing pads occasionally, until you can’t leave the house without them.

Symptoms start small but can worsen with time if left untreated

  • Urinary incontinence doesn’t happen overnight. In the beginning, you leak a little when you sneeze or cough.

  • But after a while, you can’t play with your kids or be as active as you’d like because you’re worried about an accident.

  • Soon, you’re limiting the amount of water you drink because you can’t hold it in.

  • You start wearing pads occasionally, until you can’t leave the house without them.

It doesn’t have to be like this, but women often put off talking to someone about their symptoms.

But leakage isn’t the only problem. Pelvic disorders can cause pain, discomfort during sex, higher frequency of urination, and prolapse.

years is the average amount of time women wait to report their symptoms to a specialist.

Top Reasons Women Avoid Talking About Their Symptoms

  • 1 "I am embarrassed."
  • 2 "I think I'm flawed."
  • 3 "I didn't know it was a problem."
  • 4 "I'm so scared of the idea of surgery."

of women see success with pelvic floor physical therapy after an 8-10 week program."

Dr. Carmen Peden, Obstetrics and gynecology

Before surgeries like vaginal mesh are even part of the conversation, most women see results with alternative, noninvasive procedures like pelvic floor exercises or physical therapy, Pessaries and medication.

How We Can Help

The BayCare Pelvic Health and Wellness program helps women of all ages feel comfortable addressing their pelvic health issues. The physicians who participate in our program specialize in gynecology or urology have a special interest in pelvic health. They provide comprehensive, personalized treatment plans to meet your individual needs for the present and the future. With multiple locations and throughout Pinellas, Polk and Hillsborough counties, we are committed to helping you live each day to the fullest.

Learn More About Our Program

Learn More From Our BayCare Specialists

  • Dr. Carmen Peden

    “This is something that has gone for so long untouched and BayCare has really taken the initiative to put together a very comprehensive program.”

  • Dr. Mark Baker

    “For patients dealing with incontinence, the key is to do a thorough history and physical exam.”

  • Watch the videos

How to Prevent Urinary Incontinence

There are a few simple ways to help prevent urinary incontinence in the first place.

Kegel Exercises

Just like you work out any other muscle at the gym, working out your pelvic floor is an easy way to prevent long-term difficulties.

Learn More

Maintaining a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy

A healthy weight means less strain on internal muscles and organs.

Learn More

Understanding the warning signs and symptoms

By being aware of things like leaks when coughing or laughing you’ll be able to spot symptoms early and, begin treatment before the condition worsens.

Learn More

If you do start experiencing symptoms

Talk to a Nurse

The BayCare Pelvic Health and Wellness Program provides a comprehensive, customized plan to meet your individual pelvic health issues.

Find a BayCare Specialist Take the Minute Quiz to Assess Symptoms

Start a bladder diary

A simple way to monitor day-to-day bladder habits and patterns

Download worksheets

Talk to your partner

It can be helpful to talk about your symptoms with your partner.
This guide will help you start the conversation.

Download the Guide

Find a BayCare Specialist Near You

Specialists below participate in the BayCare Pelvic Health and Wellness program.
To book an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 727-953-6905.

Ignacio Armas, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

16301 FishHawk Blvd., Suite 102

Lithia, FL 33547
(813) 530-4180 (813) 530-4180

Mark B. Baker, MD
Urological Surgery

6043 Winthrop Commerce Ave., Suite 201
Riverview, FL 33578
(813) 685-0827 (813) 685-0827

Craig S. Barkley, MD
Urology Specialist

8787 Bryan Dairy Rd, Suite 280
Largo, Florida 33777
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

James J. Booker, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

400 Ave K SE, Suite 6
Winter Haven, FL 33880
(863) 299-1107 (863) 299-1107

Beth C. Diner, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

603 7th Street S., Suite 300
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 954-7121 (727) 954-7121

Carlos I. Gabriel, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

500 E Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880
(863) 293-1191 (863) 293-1191

Tarek G. Garas, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

1755 N Florida Ave
Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 680-7744 (863) 680-7744

Vincent W. Gatto, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

500 E Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880
(863) 293-1191 (863) 293-1191

Jennifer R. Gilby, MD
Gynecology

1600 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Street N.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 323-3838 (727) 323-3838

Dr. Joshua N. Goldman
Obstetrics/Gynecology, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery

4213 W. Gomez Ave
Tampa, FL 33607

David S. Guerra, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

919 Mall Ring Rd
Sebring, FL 33870
(863) 471-1703 (863) 471-1703

Chad P. Hubsher, MD
Urological Surgery

646 Virginia Street, Suite 701
Dunedin, FL 34698
(727) 785-6011 (727) 785-6011

Sharon Ingram, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

13005 US Highway 301 S.
Clearwater, FL 33578
(813) 915-5291 (813) 915-5291

M. Scott Klavans, MD
Urology Specialist

8787 Bryan Dairy Rd, Suite 280
Largo, Florida 33777
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

Molly M. Long, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

603 7th Street S., Suite 300
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 954-7121 (727) 954-7121

Webb R. McCanse, MD
Urology Specialist

430 Morton Plant Street, Suite 206
Clearwater, Florida 33756
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

Rafael J Nobo, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

222 W. Main St., Suite B
Bartow, FL 33830
(863) 533-8944 (863) 533-8944

Louis M Paolillo, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

1010 Jeffords Street
Clearwater, Florida 33756
(727) 446-9100 (727) 446-9100

Carmen E. Peden, MD, PhD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

2716 W Virginia Ave
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 875-8032 (813) 875-8032

Allison I. Polender, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

3000 Medical Park Dr, Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33613
(813) 769-2778 (813) 769-2778

Martin B. Richman, MD, FACS
Urological Surgery

2044 Trinity Oaks Blvd, Suite 225
New Port Richey (Trinity), Florida 34655
(727) 376-4555 (727) 376-4555

T. Johnson Ross, Jr, MD
Urology Specialist

8787 Bryan Dairy Rd, Suite 280
Largo, Florida 33777
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

Gilbert A. Shamas, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology

5501 4th Street N.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33703
(727) 527-2590 (727) 527-2590

Christopher M. Sherman, MD
Urology Specialist

8787 Bryan Dairy Rd, Suite 280
Largo, Florida 33777
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

William T. Stafford, MD
Urology Specialist

8787 Bryan Dairy Rd, Suite 280
Largo, Florida 33777
(727) 441-1508 (727) 441-1508

Michael Szostak
Urological Surgery

2044 Trinity Oaks Blvd, Suite 225
New Port Richey (Trinity), Florida 34655
(727) 376-4555 (727) 376-4555

Aaron T. Williams, MD
Obstetrics/Gynecology, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery

1840 Mease Dr, Suite 110
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
(727) 376-7734 (727) 376-7734

Take Time Out

Between work, family, friendships and everything in between, doing something good for yourself almost feels wrong. We’re challenging women throughout Tampa Bay to pledge to take time out for their health. With the team at BayCare, you can receive comprehensive care that covers all of life’s changes and stages. Let us help you today, so you can help others tomorrow.

Make the Pledge