Options for Bladder and Pelvic Treatment

If you are experiencing any of the following talk to your physician or urology specialists to learn more and receive a full examination.

A physical examination can determine how strong your urinary tissues are and assess any other potential causes of bladder or pelvic concerns. Solutions may include:

  • Urine leakage during coughing, sneezing or heavy lifting
  • Trouble reaching a restroom in time or leakage after leaving the restroom
  • Pain during urination or bowel movements
  • Pain in your pelvis


A variety of targeted exercises and rehabilitation assistance may help reduce or eliminate bladder and pelvic health problems. Holland Hospital Rehabilitation Services has a team of Pelvic Health specialists with extensive experience and success in helping women and men overcome bladder and pelvic concerns.


Effective medications are available for people with overactive bladder and urge incontinence — a bladder control problem marked by sudden, intense urinary urges and urine leakage. Other medications can also improve the symptoms of incontinence by increasing muscle tone in the area surrounding the urethra. Between 20 and 60 percent of women see improvement in their symptoms after starting these medications.


Unlike hormone replacement therapies that were prescribed often during menopause, estrogen replacement cream is a targeted, topical treatment that delivers estrogen only to the treated tissues and surrounding areas. Accordingly, it is considered safe for long-term use and does not have the same risks as more general hormone replacement therapies.

Surgical Options

If these less invasive alternatives do not produce satisfactory results, surgery may be needed to correct bladder control disorders. The most common types of procedures involve slings, injections or implants.

  • Placement of a sling made of special mesh can be used to reposition and support your bladder. This procedure has been shown to achieve long-term (five-year) success rates greater than 86 percent.
  • A collagen injection at the neck of the bladder can help control urine leakage caused by weak pelvic muscles. Multiple treatment sessions are typically required for successful results.
  • A neurostimulator implant can correct the communication problems between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. An external neurostimulator can be used during a trial period, and if successful, it can be implanted internally for long-term use.


Erin Lamb
Pelvic Rehabilitation
(616) 394-3706
Western Michigan Urological Associates
(616) 392-1816


Robert Bates, MD, Western Michigan Urological Associates discusses female urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms and treatments.