Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing and bothersome. Some women live with urinary incontinence for years before saying anything to anyone, simply because they are ashamed. If you're in this boat, you should know that you're not alone and that it's perfectly okay to tell your doctor about any incontinence issues you're been experiencing. There are surgical procedures that can quickly and easily address your incontinence. Here's what you need to know about these surgeries.

You'll often be asked to try non-invasive treatments, first.

Some patients can get their incontinence under control without surgery. As such, your doctor will likely want you to try some less-invasive treatments before they recommend surgery. They may give you various pelvic floor exercises, like kegals, to perform for a few weeks. These exercises can strengthen the muscles associated with urination, giving you better control. Your doctor may also have you try certain medications, such as anticholinergics, which can reduce bladder contractions and help reduce urinary incontinence. If one of these treatments works for you, then surgery may not be needed after all!

There are several different surgical approaches.

Surgery for incontinence is not one-size-fits-all. There are a few different common procedures, and which one your doctor recommends will mostly depend on the cause of your incontinence. The most common surgeries include:

Urethral Sling Procedures

In this surgery, a small piece of mesh is inserted beneath the urethra. This keeps the urethra closed when you cough, move about or laugh. This procedure is common in women who developed incontinence after pregnancy.

Bladder Neck Support Procedures

Sometimes, incontinence is due to a loss of tension in the neck of the bladder where it connects to the urethra. If this is the underlying cause of your incontinence, your surgeon will likely use mesh to support the bladder neck and prevent future leakage.

Surgery is generally straightforward with simple recovery.

Although the idea of having surgery on your urinary tract may be a bit daunting, these procedures tend to be pretty safe, and the recovery isn't very long. A tiny incision will generally be made through your vagina in order to access your bladder, and this incision will heal quickly. You should notice the results of surgery almost immediately. 

Don't continue to struggle with urinary incontinence. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, and they'll help you find the right urinary incontinence treatment, whether that's surgery or something less invasive.