Stress Urinary Incontinence Treatments
Your treatment for stress urinary incontinence will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Many people find that introducing pelvic floor muscles can make a significant difference. If your symptoms are still troublesome, your GP can prescribe medication along with the exercises. As a final resort there are surgical treatments available, these will only be considered if your condition is severe and is causing an impact on your daily life. Your GP or Healthcare Practitioner will be able to advise on the best route of treatment for you.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
The pelvic floor is layers of muscles that stretch from the pubic bone to the coccyx and then from side-to-side. These muscles help to support the bladder and bowel plus the womb in women. These muscles can become weak through trauma such as childbirth or surgery, changing hormones, persistent coughing or chronic constipation. When these muscles become slack it can weaken the opening to the bladder causing urine to leak out when placed under pressure. These exercises can help to strengthen the pelvic floor and reduce the occurrence of leaking. Click to read about pelvic floor muscle exercises.
Duloxetine is a medication used to treat stress urinary incontinence. It works by increasing the activity of the nerve that stimulates the urethral sphincter, improving control. Like any medication, it does have some side effects and is not suitable for everyone. Your GP will be able to assess whether this drug will benefit you.
Injectable therapies or urethral bulking treatments are a less invasive alternative to surgery in treating stress urinary incontinence. A bulking gel is injected into the urethra close to the neck of the bladder to prevent urine leakage. This type of treatment has been very successful in many SUI patients.
If conservative measures and medication have not improved your stress urinary incontinence symptoms then you may be a candidate for surgery. A colposuspension is major surgery which involves lifting the bladder neck and stitching it to the front of the vagina. Traditionally this was done as an open surgery via a cut in the abdomen but this can also be performed laparoscopically.
Tension Free Vaginal Tape
This is a procedure that can be done as day surgery but is not normally recommended for those who are considering having children in the future. This involves threading tape through a small incision of the vaginal wall so that it supports the urethra. Click to find out more about tension free vaginal tape.
Trans Obturator Tape
This procedure is similar to tension free vaginal tape surgery, however, it is considered slightly safer as the tape is further away from your bladder. This involves threading the tape through three small cuts, one in the vagina and one in each upper inner thigh. Click to find out more about trans obturator tape.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice that believes that illness and pain occurs when a person’s ‘qi’ or energy flow becomes blocked. Inserting fine, sterile needles into certain points helps to unblock this energy flow. A research study has shown that having acupuncture along the sacral vertebra can suppress overactive bladders, symptoms of frequency and urgency and improve stress urinary incontinence. Click to find out more about acupuncture.
Further information and downloads can be found in the downloads section. Living with a bladder condition can affect you emotionally and socially; sometimes it can help to speak to others who understand your situation. The Bladder & Bowel Community Forum is available 24 hours today and will allow you to connect with those who share your condition. Start your own topic today or just follow one that interests you.