Urinary incontinence is a very delicate subject for most women today but affects more than 25-45% of women over the age of 20. In fact the statistics are surprising. In women aged 20 to 39 , 7-37% of women report some form of Urinary incontinence or UI. It is twice as common a problem for women to have leaky bladders than men and is due to the structure of womens genital tract as well as pregnancy , childbirth and the menopause.
At BC laser we offer the latest treatment for urinary incontinence and bladder leaks known as THERMIVA. Call or email our office to find out how this treatment can change your life.
What is Urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control resulting in the accidental loss of urine. Some women lose urine when they are running or coughing often called stress incontinence. Others feel a strong urge to urinate just before losing urine called urgency incontinence. Mixed incontinence is a mixture of both types of incontinence or other outside factors that may affect the ability to hold urine.
Urinary incontinence can be totally debilitating or just bothersome. For a lot of women the chance of embarrassment can stop them enjoying physical activities and exercise. It can also cause emotional distress.
What is the urinary tract and how does it work?
The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system and it works to remove urine which is our waste and extra fluid. For normal urination all aspects of the urinary tract need to work together. There are three sets of muscles what work together to keep urine in the bladder in between trips to the washroom. When you want to urinate the brain signals the muscles in the bladder to tighten squeezing urine out of the bladder, and at the same time the brain also signals sphincter muscles to relax and let the urine into the bladder tube or the urethra as it is known.
What causes urinary incontinence in women?
In women when the brain does not signal the bladder properly or the sphincter muscles do not squeeze strongly enough then the result is urinary incontinence. The problems with the muscles can be complex or very simple. The muscle may not be strong enough or may contract too much or the nerves controlling these muscles may result in poor control.
Some women are born with factors that can increase her chances of developing UI such as birth defects, genetics or race. Caucasian women are more likely to be affected by urinary incontinence than other races.
Urinary incontinence is not a disease but is a symptom of certain conditions or of events in a womans life. These events are:
Childbirth – muscles can be damaged
Chronic coughing – long lasting coughs can increase pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.
Menopause- the hormone that keeps the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy decreases in production.
Physical inactivity and obesity – extra weight can put pressure on the bladder causing a need to urinate before the bladder is full.
Pelvic organ prolapse – sagging of the bladder as a result of pregnancy or otherwise causes the bladder to move from its original position.
How is urinary incontinence in women treated?
Some of treatments available are behaviour and lifestyle changes, stop smoking, bladder training and pelvic floor exercises.
The latest in non surgical treatments called THERMIVA uses radiofrequency energy to reclaim what has been lost through aging or childbirth among other reasons. Thermiva is offered at BC laser as a method to relieve urinary incontinence.
Lifestyle changes include monitoring and controlling your drinking fluids, no caffeine, no pop and often no alcohol as well. Smoking increases a persons chance of developing stress incontinence so stopping smoking is a good preventative measure often recommended.
Bladder training is pelvic floor exercises or Kegels as they are called. Kegels help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and no special equipment is needed. These exercises involve tightening and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow.
In some cases a urethral insert or pessary may be prescribed. This is a tampon like, disposable device inserted into the urethra to prevent leakage. The insert is removed every time you urinate.
Other treatments include bulking agents and also surgery which carries its own risks. There are also medications,such as some antidepressants as well as antimuscarinics, which can be used to treat urge incontinence.
Botox can also be used to treat urge incontinence by injecting it into the bladder to relax the bladder and increase its storage capacity. Botox in this instance can last upto 10 months.
How can someone cope with leaking urine?
Currently women use pads, adult diapers, water proof underwear as a way to cope with leaking urine. This can be embarrasing for most women.
Thermiva that is a non surgical solutions to improve your life and will help women not to suffer from this dehabilitating condition in silence any more and have a real solution to this problem.