Urinary incontinence, New options for an embarrassing problem

Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, is
an extremely common condition affecting nearly one third of all women of childbearing age and nearly one half of all women beyond the age of menopause.

In fact, more sanitary pads are used for urinary incontinence than for menstrual bleeding! Not only does this create embarrassing and problematic situations for those affected, but can lead to depression and social isolation.

Incontinence is more than twice as likely to occur in women than men, in large measure due to child- bearing and due to the female urinary anatomy. The female urethra is only about 4-5 cm in length and it is frequently “ abused “ with the long rigors of lengthy and prolonged labor.

Besides pregnancy, the other main etiology for incontinence is obesity, with the heavier a women is, the more likely she is to have problems controlling her bladder. As the muscles that control the bladder neck are damaged with delivery and with the excess stress of weight, the short muscles surrounding the short female urethra simply cannot stop the pressure placed upon it and leakage occurs.

There are two main types of incontinence. By far the most common is called “ stress incontinence.” This occurs with excess pressure such as with coughing, sneezing, running and lifting. Stress incontinence is very amenable to treatment with surgical and more recently, with non-surgical therapy.

The other most common type, is called “urge incontinence” in which when a woman gets the desire to need to urinate and then cannot stop the fow or control the loss of urine with simply feeling the need to go.” Urge incontinence is not amenable to surgery, but can be helped with medication.

In the past, the only solution for stress incontinence was invasive surgery. Unfortunately, the most effective and widely used method has been the use of a mid- urethral sling using “mesh.” In the past few years there have now been multiple studies citing multiple complications from the “mesh“ material used for these procedures. Although highly effective, these so called “Tension Free Vaginal Tape“ procedures with mesh have met with many lawsuits over these potential complications.

I have been excited to learn of a new device from InControl Medical that offers signifcant improvement or even complete cure for both stress and urge incontinence. The device helps teach a woman how to do “Kegel exercises in the privacy of her own home. It is inserted into the vagina and causes electrical impulses to strengthen the urethral muscles that help control the fow of urine. The device has been nearly 100% effective in more than 10,000 women who have used it thus far.

In summary, the two most common types of incontinence are treatable with either surgery, which although effective, can have complications, medication with certain side effects, or now with a home device that can be used for both stress and urge incontinence and is highly effective.

This Urinary incontinence Article is taken from:
Dr. Mark Saunders, a well- respected board certifed obstetrician and gynecologist that has been practicing in the American Fork area for over 18 years. For more information on any of the potential treatments, or for consultation, contact at drsaundersobgyn.com
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