If you suffer from urinary incontinence, there are various over-the-counter products and devices that may help alleviate symptoms, including pads, liners, pull-up pants and disposable underwear for light incontinence.
Sacral nerve stimulators (SNSs), which send painless electrical pulses through sacral nerves involved with bladder control, can help manage overactive bladders and urge incontinence when other treatments haven’t worked. This device also offers relief if treatments such as progesterone haven’t helped.
Female urinary incontinence can be caused by age, pregnancy or medical condition and should typically be treatable through conservative means.
Women suffering from urinary incontinence have a variety of treatments available to them, including vaginal pessaries, pelvic floor muscle training, surgery and non-surgical devices designed to improve urinary control. These conservative solutions may include vaginal pessaries, pelvic floor muscle training and surgery as well as non-surgical devices designed to aid urinary control.
Support pessaries are typically constructed out of silicone and come in various shapes and sizes to aid with pelvic organ prolapse as well as relieve any pressure caused by stress incontinence on the bladder. They’re meant to support these areas while relieving any pressure put upon it by stress.
Your health care provider may prescribe these treatments to relieve discomfort in the groin area and decrease swelling, as well as provide pain relief and reduce swelling. A vaginal exam should also be performed to evaluate how severe your prolapse may be.
Ring pessaries are the most frequently used support device and may feature a perforated membrane to facilitate urination. These devices are easy to insert and remove on their own without medical assistance.
Cube pessaries resemble traditional ring pessaries in shape but differ by having concave sides that make a cube shape. Used for milder third-degree prolapse cases, cube pessaries should only be worn during the daytime hours.
Gehrung pessaries resemble saddles and are widely used to treat rectocele or cystocele. Each Gehrung pessary is custom-fitted to the user’s anatomy for maximum effectiveness.
Vaginal weights and cones, devices that help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, are available as devices that help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Unfortunately, these methods have yet to be thoroughly researched; nonetheless, some people may find them beneficial.
Weighted cones or weights should be placed into your vagina and left there for 15 to 30 minutes, encouraging pelvic floor muscles to contract and release, helping improve leakage prevention capabilities.
Dr Rosamilia suggests starting off lightest, and gradually progressing to heavier ones when you can wear them for 15 minutes without discomfort. You may need to repeat this process several times until your pelvic floor strengthens fully.
These devices offer a simple, affordable solution to improving continence. They can be found at pharmacies, health food stores or online.
Female urinary incontinence devices are small plastic or synthetic devices designed to keep urine from escaping the urethra, commonly used as stress incontinence treatments.
An urethral device may be the optimal solution for people living with moderate to severe urinary incontinence, helping prevent recurrences of their condition while decreasing bladder leakage.
Urethral devices are typically constructed out of silicone or polypropylene synthetic materials and designed to rest against the back of your vagina, where they support your bladder and keep urethra leaking under the strain. A doctor usually installs them for you.
Certain urethral devices are specifically designed to assist women in stopping night-time urination. These may include inserting a tampon into your vagina or placing a soft tube beneath the mattress in your bed to collect urine from your bladder.
Women who cannot or do not wish to use absorbent pads and adult diapers often opt for these devices as an effective solution, helping prevent their skin from irritation caused by urine leakage and prevent redness and rashes caused by urine leaking out.
There is a wide selection of designs and sizes of disposable diapers on the market; others can even be reusable.
Urine can cause significant skin damage, so many people use incontinence products that absorb moisture and keep the area dry. They may also include antimicrobials, cleansers and skin barrier products to ensure healthy skin.
Skin is an extremely fragile part of our bodies and over time can become dry, flaky and irritated, leading to pain, discomfort and decreased quality of life.
An artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) can help treat urinary incontinence. An AUS consists of a tube with an inflatable cuff attached which is surgically implanted during surgery and adjusted by means of an internal pump located within your scrotum.
An US is designed to last seven to 10 years on average; some last even longer. If there is any issue or damage with it, surgery will likely be required to replace the device.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Pelvic floor muscle training exercises can be an effective way to manage urinary incontinence. They’re easy and can be completed anytime; just remember that improvement should appear within several weeks!
Physical therapists that specialize in pelvic floor muscle therapy can teach you how to perform these exercises properly and safely. Their services will allow you to find the appropriate muscles for exercise while receiving feedback to make sure that your exercises are correct and efficient.
Some individuals use biofeedback techniques to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. A healthcare provider inserts a small probe into your anus (back passage) or vagina to measure contraction of pelvic floor muscles; then monitors display this data, showing which muscles are contracting and which do not, so you can strengthen those that need strengthening.
Begin your Kegel exercise by lying or sitting comfortably, with your thighs, buttocks, and stomach muscles relaxed. Squeeze the anus (back passage) muscles as if trying to stop passing wind – this is known as the Kegel exercise and should last no more than three seconds at a time before relaxing again – repeat this several times to become familiar with its sensations.
Step two is to start doing these exercises regularly, ideally three to five times each day (morning, afternoon and night). Gradually increase the number of contractions each day until you’ve reached 10 consecutive ones in a row.
Results may take several weeks to appear, but it is well worth giving this approach a try if it will improve your continence. In addition, it’s an effective way of staying fit and healthy and may prevent other health complications from developing in the future.
If you have any inquiries or are experiencing difficulty, the National Continence Helpline offers free and confidential advice, support, and resources from Nurse Continence Specialists. They are there to provide free advice as well as support services.
Regular exercise is beneficial to everyone, but particularly so for women with weak pelvic floor muscles. If you suspect your pelvic floor muscles have become compromised, speak to your GP and request referral to a pelvic health physiotherapist in your area – these therapists have extra training in treating pelvic floor disorders.
Surgery offers solutions that can reduce or stop urine leaks when coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising or when there is something amiss with your bladder (urine leaking). Surgery should typically only be considered when other forms of treatment have failed.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is one of the most frequently seen types of incontinence and typically manifests when coughing, sneezing, urinating or doing things that put pressure on your pelvic area. Unfortunately, it can be extremely challenging to treat.
Many women can find relief from stress urinary incontinence with exercises and medications; however, these may not work for everyone.
Retropubic suspension can help with incontinence; this minimally invasive operation lifts your urethra and bladder neck up for better support, through an incision made in either your vagina or abdomen and lifting part of the bladder neck. After attachment to ligaments in your pubic bone, this helps ensure urethral sphincter muscles close correctly after you urinate, helping prevent leaks.
Another option for women with urinary incontinence is a vaginal sling, which uses natural or synthetic material looped around to support both the urethra and bladder neck, connected by strong tissues in your lower abdomen.
Your doctor may insert small balloons called transurethral bulking agents to press against your urethra when you urinate, which are an effective treatment option for mild incontinence.
Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons perform these procedures. This group of urologists or gynecologists has received special training in women’s health issues.
Your surgeon will discuss which surgical treatment will be most suitable for you based on factors like your symptoms, age, medical history and goals.
Once your doctor has selected the most suitable surgical method for you, they will schedule your procedure and send a nurse who will assess your vital signs like heart rate and temperature as well as provide sleep medications or anesthetics to ease pain during surgery.