Urinary incontinence is the inadvertent and unintentional leakage of urine from the bladder. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the uncontrolled release of urine during activities that pressurize the bladder such as coughing, lifting, laughing, standing, exercise, sneezing, and intercourse.
SUI occurs when the muscles that support both the urethra and the urinary sphincter weaken. Vaginal childbirth, obesity, pelvic surgeries, and age can all be contributing factors. Hormone deprivation, whether naturally occurring during menopause or due to medications, can cause thinning of the vaginal wall resulting in bladder prolapse and SUI.
SUI is a very emotionally disturbing condition for most women. It can alter a patient’s life and lead to avoidance behavior. It is not uncommon for stress incontinence to occur along with urge incontinence or overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is the sudden involuntary contraction of the bladder resulting in an intense sensation to urinate and often leakage.
Stress incontinence is diagnosed primarily by history and physical examination but in some cases may require additional testing. Complicated cases or mixed conditions might need the help of a urologist to make the correct diagnosis.
Treatment is either nonsurgical or surgical. Pelvic floor strengthening programs, smoking cessation, weight loss programs, and pessaries are all employed as conservative first-line treatments. Surgery is available for patients that do not respond to conservative management. More recently, however, lasers and radiofrequency devices have been used. They all work by stimulating collagen production within the vaginal wall thus giving more support to the bladder and urethra.
Dr. Nightingale treats SUI with a procedure called IncontiLase. This is a no downtime procedure that gently heats the vaginal wall resulting in collagen stimulation, restoration of vaginal tone, and significant reduction in mild to moderate stress incontinence symptoms. IncontiLase has been studied for over ten years with 94% of women reporting significant improvement in SUI symptoms after 120 days with 70% reporting being completely dry. The procedure is done with a local anesthetic only and is virtually painless.
Learn more about IncontiLase or call our office at 1-888-800-2919 to schedule a consultation.