FACT: about one in four sexually active woman will suffer from stress urinary incontinence (leaking urine) at some point in their lives….
This problem can be very embarrassing and can severely affect your quality of life….
Many women do not seek medical treatment… due to embarrassment…lack of knowledge …or fear that treatment will require surgery….
Read on to find out more….
WHAT IS URINARY INCONTINENCE?
This is when you have an “involuntary loss of urine”.In short, you wee, when you don’t intend to. For many women this can happen when laughing , coughing, or sneezing. For others, it is when jumping on a trampoline, running or just giggling. In some instances, women will find that when they have to go to wee, they have to go. Any delay will lead to a urine leak!
Medically, urinary incontinence is classified into 4 big groups:
STRESS INCONTINENCE: This is leaking that happens after there is any increase in abdominal muscle pressure, like laughing. The most common cause is a positional change in the bladder that is no longer properly supported by healthy muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. As medical scientists we still don’t know completely why some women are more likely to have this problem and others, not. We do know, that it is linked to pregnancy, vaginal births, menopause, obesity and aging.
URGE INCONTINENCE: This will happen when the urge to urinate is SO strong, that if you don’t get to the toilet immediately , a leak occurs. There is usually no warning .The leak is sudden .Triggers can be listening to running water and cold weather. Sufferers also get up frequently at night to urinate. The cause is usually an overactive bladder and this problem is most often treated with medication.
MIXED INCONTINENCE: a combination of the types of leaking already described.
OVERFLOW INCONTINENCE: This happens because of weak bladder muscles, damaged bladder nerves or a blockage in the flow of urine from the bladder. Urine usually leaks out in drops and it feels as though the bladder is usually never emptied completely. It is the most rare of all the types.
Let’s focus on urinary stress incontinence….
Treatment will be always ,first ,to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. With KEGELS EXERCISES or physiotherapy. Read the last blog post for more….
For some women this will be enough to improve the symptoms…
For others, more is required….
To date the only other options were surgical…placing a tape (TRANSVAGINAL TAPE) or (TRANSOBTURATOR TAPE) into the vagina, during a surgical procedure . Every time a woman increases her abdominal pressure, the tape pulls tight and works to prevent a urine leak. Another, more traditional surgical option is a bladder lift or anterior repair.
These operations sometimes have good outcomes and sometimes not. In fact, sometimes they can even make incontinence worse. Many women want to avoid surgery and some women don’t qualify for surgery altogether due to various health risks. With any operation of this nature, your first chance is your best chance at success. Repeated operations increase failure and complication risks.
Despite this, they still remain good treatment options.
NOW the Er: Yag laser is positioned to treat stress urinary incontinence that is mild to moderate. So this means that surgery may never become necessary. It involves laser to the vagina that is specifically targeted to the area under the bladder. The final result is a re-modelling of the collagen and increased blood supply in the tissue supporting the bladder. The ultimate aim is greater support to the bladder and no more leaks!
Studies have shown that it is safe, and effective: almost 70% of patients are dry after 120 days.
Laser is incisionless….no cutting , or bleeding or sutures
Laser is virtually painless….only topical local anaesthetic cream is used
Laser is quick…patients can return to everyday activities immediately.. the only restriction….no intercourse for a week after the treatment
Treatment is tailored to each patient according to her problem. It may involve up to 3 treatments -one month apart –and possibly a touch-up every 18 months.
REMEMBER: YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH LEAKING URINE! HELP IS AT HAND! All YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK!