Some kinds of urological problems cross gender lines – kidney stones and urinary tract infections, for example, can affect both women and men. But women can experience certain problems differently and, in some cases, more frequently.
For example, women experience urological incontinence (UI) – the involuntary loss of urine control – about twice as often as men. Pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference.
Older women experience UI more often than younger women, although incontinence is not inevitable with age. At the same time, both women and men can become incontinent from neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems associated with aging.
Women are especially prone to urinary tract infections (UTI) for reasons that are not yet well understood. One woman in five develops a UTI during her lifetime.
Pregnant women seem no more prone to UTIs than other women. However, when a UTI does occur in a pregnant woman, it is more likely to travel to the kidneys. UTIs in men are not as common as in women but can be very serious when they do occur.
In addition, medical treatments for urological problems in women can be quite different. For instance, there are vaginal devices designed to treat female incontinence, and some surgeries for incontinence are specifically for women.
Learn more: women’s conditions
Women experience urinary twice as often as men. For some women, the risk of public embarrassment keeps them from enjoying activities with family and friends.
Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Surgery Pelvic floor reconstruction at a glance Pelvic floor reconstruction is a collection of procedures and surgeries that treats pelvic organ prolapse, which is when pelvic organs drop (prolapse) out of position. The method of pelvic floor reconstruction will vary depending on which organ (bladder, uterus, vagina or rectum) dropped. Robotic surgery … Continued
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when one of a woman’s pelvic organs, which include the bladder, uterus, urethra and rectum, drops out of its normal position and pushes against the vagina or through the vaginal opening. Prolapse means an organ slides forward or downward, and this causes a hernia.
Very rarely is a woman's life in danger from a vaginal prolapse, although prolapses usually get worse with time. For this reason, it's wise to act promptly when symptoms first appear. The best way to diagnose vaginal prolapse is through a physical examination and a review of the woman's medical history.
Vaginal Prolapse Causes & Diagnosis A vaginal prolapse is a weakness around the vagina that allows the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself to fall from their normal positions. In and around a woman’s vagina is a support network of muscles, ligaments, and skin, all holding organs, tissues, and structures in place in the … Continued
Learn more: general urologic conditions
Normally, as your bladder stores urine, your pelvic floor muscles contract to support your bladder and hold urine in without leaking. Bladder control problems occur when your pelvic muscles weaken. There are different types of bladder control problems.
A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is the most common of all kinds of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some people, mainly women, develop bladder and other urinary tract infections because they are prone to such infections the way other people are prone to getting coughs or colds.
A kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine within the urinary tract. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. These inhibitors do not seem to work for everyone, however, so some people form stones.
Bladder control problems, or overactive bladder, prevent you from controlling when and how much you urinate. Patients can experience a variety of symptoms.
During a urinary tract infection, the lining of the bladder and urethra becomes irritated just as the inside of the nose or throat does during a cold.