Are you tired of leaking? You are not alone! Incontinence is common, affecting over 60% of women over 40. Thankfully, research is evolving and there are more effective treatments to consider.
There are two types of incontinence that women experience. The first is called stress incontinence, and this is due to weakness of the urethra and pelvic floor. Weakness can develop from childbirth, as well as the effects of aging and gravity — so it can happen to anyone! Stress associated leakage happens when increased pressure in the abdomen pushes on the bladder. Increased pressure can happen with laughing, coughing, sneezing, and exercise.
Stress leakage can be treated by strengthening the pelvic floor, such as with Kegel exercises or the new EmSella treatment. The EmSella is non-invasive and science-based, with 95% reporting a significant improvement in quality of life. EmSella uses HiFem technology to cause deep pelvic floor muscle stimulation and restore neuromuscular control. It is completed in 6 short office sessions, and you remain fully clothed. We feel this technology is ground breaking!
For stress incontinence, there are also specialized physical therapists that can guide you in Kegel exercises. Another option are vaginal inserts that can help support the urethra, such as the Impressa, which is available over-the-counter and is appropriate for short-term use, such as with exercising; or a pessary, which is a silicone device you can be fitted for in the office. For leakage that does not improve with these conservative measures, a bladder sling can be placed surgically, with a satisfaction rate over 90%.
The second type of incontinence is called urge incontinence. This type occurs when then muscles of the bladder contract at inconvenient times or too frequently. This is often referred to as “overactive bladder.” Typically, you will feel an urge to urinate, and may or may not leak with it. Urgency is common at nighttime and can greatly interrupt sleep, which can have a profound effect on your quality of life. Many women will also find they are curtailing their activities during the day due to inconvenient leakage — or they know where every bathroom is!
There are also several treatment options for urge incontinence. Something as simple as bladder training, with scheduled toilet trips, can help. Strengthening the pelvic floor, such as with Kegels and the EmSella, will also give you greater control over your bladder urgency. Lastly, there are several medications that can help calm an overactive bladder.
If you would like to improve your bladder function and quality of life, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Salisbury and Dr. Zaander to discuss the right treatment for you.
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Sit comfortably, while fully clothed, and let the
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