According to the latest statistics, the number of women who suffer from stress incontinence is as high as 1 in 4. Stress incontinence happens because of pressure placed upon the abdomen and bladder, and can be due to a variety of reasons that include exercise, lifting heavy objects, as well as coughing and even sneezing.
What causes stress incontinence?
Stress incontinence is not caused by the ageing process, as many women in their late seventies and eighties do not have this condition. Stress incontinence happens because the pelvic floor muscles become damaged or weakened. These muscles are very important as they support both the urethra and bladder, as well as the sphincter muscles that form the opening of the bladder. All of these problems will cause urine to leak from the bladder. Common causes for stress incontinence in women include those of a vaginal birth, pregnancy, obesity, hysterectomy, Parkinson’s disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, diuretics and antidepressants.
What treatment is available?
Depending upon the severity of the condition, and your medical history, there are a number of treatment routes available. These range from simple lifestyle changes right through to invasive surgery. With regards to lifestyle changes, it is often recommended that you try to reduce your daily fluid intake, to stop smoking and if you are a diabetic, to carefully monitor your blood sugar level. Training your pelvic floor muscles is also incredibly advantageous, as doing so can strengthen weakened muscles, helping the bladder to retain urine.
Surgical procedures for the treatment of stress incontinence
If stress incontinence is affecting your every day life and is causing pain and discomfort, then there are a few surgical procedures that are available. A surgical tape can be inserted into the urethra to help support the weakened muscles. A treatment known as colposuspension, that lifts the neck of the bladder, is also highly effective in stopping stress incontinence.
Mr Jonathan Broome of the The Pelvic Clinic is highly specialised in the surgical treatments for stress incontinence. To learn more about this type of surgical procedure, please do contact the clinic for a consultation.