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November 08, 2012 06:12 PM

Bladder Problems: A Common Issue

It's not something many of us like to talk about, but bladder and pelvic problems affects many people, especially women.

One in three women are estimated to have bladder control problems. Another ten percent suffer from pelvic pain.

Karen Berning enjoys spending time outdoors, including working in her almost picture-perfect garden, but for a couple years, that was not possible.

"On July 1, 2010, I collapsed on my desk at work. It was so painful," Berning said.

The Adrian, Minnesota woman's pain got so bad it started to impact not only her hobbies, but also her work and family life.

"When you can't walk or sit very long because of the pain in that area, you have no life. When I would get off work, there were many days as I was going through the door at the end of the day that I would be in tears," Berning said.

That's when she started seeking help. After multiple doctors and tests, Dr. Kevin Benson diagnosed her with chronic pelvic pain.

"It's a pain that has to rise to the level that it affects a person's life, so we're not talking about the pain of a paper cut," Benson said.

While Berning is now back to working in her garden, many people don't seek help for bladder or pelvic problems because they're embarrassed to talk about the issue.

"When a woman has a pelvic floor disorder, it's one that's really isolating and draws them away from others. With proper evaluation and treatment, it can really give them their life back," Benson said.

And after several different types of treatment and a surgery, she can now enjoy her hobbies once again.

"It's awesome. I can garden. I can dig. I can go hiking again. It's awesome. I have a life again," Berning said.

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