Stress Urinary Incontinence
Treatment Of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
The bladder and urethra are supported by muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues around the base of the bladder. This support prevents the leakage of urine, along with the watertight seal provided by the urethra. As a result of pregnancy, childbirth and aging, or damage caused by scarring from surgery or radiotherapy, these structures may become damaged or weakened, thus causing an involuntary loss of urine that occurs during physical activity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Also known as “Kegels” after Dr. Arnold Kegel (see above, under Treatment for Overactive Bladder and Urge Incontinence, for explanation).
Biofeedback takes information about something happening in the body and presents it in a way that we can see or hear and understand.
Biofeedback has been effective in treating urinary incontinence. It can help you learn to control and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and play an important role in bladder control. Because you cannot see the pelvic floor muscles, you may find it difficult to locate them. Perhaps you are uncertain if you are doing the exercises correctly. This is where biofeedback can help. Biofeedback therapy uses computer graphs and audible tones to show you the muscles you are exercising. It also allows the therapist to measure your muscle strength and individualize your exercise program. It is a teaching tool to help you learn to control and strengthen the pelvic floor area.
Urethral Bulking Injections
The injection of a bulking agent around the urethra restores the watertight seal lost over time. The injection procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia in an office setting. A needle inserted through a small scope delivers the bulking material to the tissue surrounding the urethra. Results are immediate and the procedure is very quick.
A mid – urethral sling is a small piece of strong synthetic mesh, inserted through a small vaginal incision to create a supporting “hammock” underneath the urethra. This restores the missing support around the urethra and prevents stress urinary incontinence. “Mini Slings”, also known as single incision slings, have become very popular and are very effective. With the benefit of no external incision and essentially no pain. Slings are generally done as outpatient procedures in a hospital or surgery center. Despite the media attention generated recently around the use of vaginal mesh, slings remain the standard of care for moderate to severe stress urinary incontinence. Learn about Mesh Midurethral Slings