Dealing with incontinence and bladder issues

Some of the most common women's health issues are the least discussed because women feel embarrassed discussing some of their problems and tend to postpone their health care while working and taking care of their family.

Dr. Sondra Altman, a gynecologist from John Muir Health talks about some of the most frequent women's health issues.

  • Some women believe incontinence and overactive bladder is normal. But there is a variety of treatment options including nutrition counseling, medication, biofeedback, physical therapy, behavior change, and even minimally invasive surgical options.

  • Awareness is key. You don't have to wait until surgery is necessary. Simple dietary changes and five minute pelvic floor exercises can change the way you get through the day!

  • Urinary and bladder problems can result from various causes and life events, including childbirth, hormone imbalance, neurological disorders, dietary habits and menopause.

  • According to the national study, more than a quarter of women experience quality-of-life problems with continence. Incontinence impacts your work productivity and self-confidence.

    The emotional and social implications for women who suffer from incontinence are challenging and often lead to isolation. When something affects your daily life, it is not normal and you need to find trusted resources to address your health issues.

  • One out of ten women seeks surgery, primarily because they are not aware that nonsurgical treatments can be effective as well. 30 to 60 percent of surgical patients require re-operation within 10 years for a failed or deteriorating previous repair so don't think that the most cutting-edge treatment is necessarily the best one for you.

  • If you need help, consider a comprehensive multi-disciplinary program that includes urologists, gynecologists and colorectal physicians. You have to look at the problem from all angles! Look for a place that can help with diagnosing, treating and managing bladder problems. Ask if they have behavioral counseling - some habits can really impact your pelvic health and you may need help changing those behaviors.
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About Dr. Sondra Altman, Gynecologist John Muir Health Center:

Dr. Sondra Altman has been a Board Certified Ob-Gyn since 1985 and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Since her involvement with the Boston Conference on Women and Health in 1975, Dr. Altman was destined to become and advocate for improving women's health care and the many issues that have followed them throughout their lives rom reproductive control and more progressive birthing methods, to the hormonal and menopausal issues the women of her generation are now facing.

With a B.A. from Tufts University (where she graduated cum laude) and her M.D. from Boston University Medical School, Dr. Altman moved to California where she completed her internship and Residency at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. In private practice since 1983, Dr. Sandi has practiced at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek from 1990 to the present.

Since 1992, Dr. Sandi has been in high demand as a speaker and teacher about menopausal and hormonal topics.

From conducting seminars and workshops for community and medical groups alike, to her Keynotes speeches and break-out sessions for women's professional groups and conferences, Dr. Sandi inspires her audiences and provides cutting-edge solutions with her signature humor empowering a generation of women to laugh a little at their trying hormonal journey.

Dr. Sandi is the proud mother of two sons in college, serves on the Advisory Panel for the John Muir Women's Center and is a Member of: North American Menopause Society (NAMS), International Society for the Study of Women's Health Issues (ISSWSH), Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education.

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