“Women with severe urinary incontinence pay $900 annually for routine incontinence care.” 1
When women first start to experience bladder leakage, often the first option they look at is liners or pads.
Many women feel they can manage their day-to-day bladder leakage with liners, pads, disposable or reusable underwear. While pads do provide some degree of protection and discreet management, they do not try to improve your bladder function, unlike other treatment options.
Before or in conjunction with other treatment options, a specialist will often suggest lifestyle changes to help decrease bladder leakage:
Bladder leakage in stress urinary incontinence is most often due to the weakening of the pelvic muscles and tissue that normally support the bladder, actively strengthening the pelvic muscles may help lessen your symptoms. Read about Tina’s experience with Kegels on FemalePelvicSolutions.com.
A pessary is a small plastic device that is inserted into the vagina to help support the vaginal walls and provide lift to the bladder and urethra. Pessaries are available in a variety of sizes. Your provider will provide instructions on inserting and removing the device. To ensure you receive a pessary that is fitted correctly, it’s important to see a specialist who can provide guidance on what size is right for your body. Read Carol’s telling story regarding pessary devices here on FemalePelvicSolutions.com.
While there are [prescription] medications that can help reduce the symptoms of bladder leakage, medication currently only treats urge urinary Incontinence and overactive bladder. If you are suffering from mixed urinary incontinence (a combination of stress and urge incontinence), you may benefit from using medication for urge incontinence. However, you may need additional treatments to decrease bladder leakage related to stress urinary incontinence.
If non-surgical options have not solved your stress urinary incontinence, it may be time to consider a more permanent surgical solution.2 One surgical option your doctor may recommend is a sling procedure.
A sling procedure corrects stress urinary incontinence by supporting your urethra to keep it in its correct position.3 The operation is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery.2,3 A sling corrects bladder leakage, or stress incontinence, by providing support to the bladder neck and urethra. After a sling procedure, most women can regain better control of their bladder.4 It is important to know that future pregnancies may negate the effects of the surgical sling procedure and you may once again become incontinent.5
There are different types of sling procedures, including a Transobturator, a Suprapubic, a Retropublic and a Single Incision— each of which implants the device using a different method or approach. Your doctor will discuss the differences and which type of procedure might be best for you.2 Know what questions to ask your doctor with this list here on FemalePelvisSolutions.com.
“In a recent study, 113 women had the Altis® sling implanted, and after two years: 90.4% of women state they are “much better” or “very much better” than they were before” 4
We’ve compiled some of the most common questions that women ask when learning about stress urinary incontinence. Read for yourself to learn more about stress urinary incontinence causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Treatment options for stress urinary incontinence range from the day-to-day management of symptoms to surgical treatments that provide a permanent solution.2 Examples of non-surgical options include wearing pads or absorbent undergarments or improving pelvic strength through muscle exercises. Find out more on non-surgical treatments at FemalePelvicSolutions.com. Surgical treatments include stress incontinence surgery that utilizes either your own tissue or a synthetic sling to support the urethra to help you regain bladder control. Your doctor can discuss these options to determine the best choice for you.6
Stress incontinence surgery may be approached in different ways. In some cases, the surgeon may use your own tissue to correct your incontinence. Another minimally invasive2 option uses a synthetic or biologic material to help support your urethra, which is commonly known as a “sling.” It helps cradle the urethra by providing additional support to help correct urinary incontinence.3
In a recent study, 113 women had the Altis® sling implanted, and after two years 90.4% of women state they are “much better” or “very much better,” 87.9% did not leak after they coughed during a test (a “cough stress test”).4 Learn more about what to expect after surgery on FemalePelvicSolutions.com.
It is possible to become incontinent after stress incontinence surgery. One factor to consider is that future pregnancies following stress incontinence surgery may negate the effects of your surgery and you may once again become incontinent.5
Every patient’s recovery time is different following surgery. During your recovery, be sure to avoid heavy lifting and sexual intercourse for six weeks or as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor will provide you with specific details about your recovery process.2
Some of the more common side effects from surgery include: mesh erosion, infection, short- or long-term pain, and injury to the bladder or other pelvic organs by the instruments used to place the sling. Ask your surgeon for a complete list of warnings, precautions and possible adverse events.3
1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557394/ Downloaded 5.25.18
2) Data on file with Coloplast.
3) https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQS/Surgery-for-Stress-Urinary-Incontinence.Downloaded 10.17.
4) Kocjancic E, Erickson E, Tu L-M, Gheiler E, Van Drie E. Two-Year Outcomes for the Altis® Adjustable Single Incision Sling System for Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence. Neurourol Urodyn. Released electronically October 29, 2016.
5) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/in-depth/urinary-incontinence-surgery/art-20046858_Downloaded 5.25.18