What is urinary incontinence?
Simply put urinary incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine that is a social or hygiene problem and is objectively demonstrable (you can see the pee!).
How common is it?
Urinary incontinence is very common in women and the number of women affected increases with age. It can start as early as the early 20’s and become more common with each decade of life.
Why do women develop stress urinary incontinence?
Some of the contributing factors include child bearing, the onset of menopause, weight gain and the prescence of abdominal masses such as large uterne fibroids. The urinary balldder is supported by pelvic floor muscles that may be weakened when a woman bears children. This is more likely to occur where labour was difficult, when the babies were large and when a woman has had several children. During menopause there is a decline in the production of certain hormones, notably oestrogen which leads to a decline in the integrity of the tissue of the pelvic floor further weakening it. Large abdominal masses orsignificant weight gain increases the pressure on the urinary bladder and results in frequent passge of urine with very slight increases in intra-abdominal pressure during simple activities such as coughing or laughing.
What can I do if I think I have stress incontinence?
It is important to see you doctor to confirm that this is so and exclude any other problems that can produce similar symptoms. This is particu;arly important if there was signifcant trauma during labour and delivery or if you had any pelvic surgery.
Some simple measure can be tried:
- Restricting fluids in the evening say after 6pm. The idea is to prevent the accumulation of large amounts of urine overnight so that one does not need to get up frequently at night to pass urine. The problem with this is it actually restricts a healthy habit..drinking water
- Kegel exercises. This involves contracting the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them. You can figure out which muscles these are by stopping the flow of urine while peeing. once you identify the muscles you need to perform Kegels regularly to obtain benefit. I suggest doing 10-15 contarctions three time a day. You can perform Kegels while sitting at you desk at work...no one will know! Try setting an alarm in your phone to remind you when to do them.
- There are some medications that can be used to treat some forms of urinary incontinence. They are not as effective for stress incontinence and side effects such as dry mouth often cause persons to discontinue
- The O shot is an office procedure that is non-surgical and very effective for treating incontinence and nocturia (frequent passage of urine at night). The procedure utilises a special injectable prepared from the patients own blood. A component of the blood called platelets is separated and concentrated then introduced around the urethra and the base of the bladder. The growth factors in the platelets lead to repair of tissue damage in the pelvic area and strengthening of the pelvic floor. In menopasual females this procedure restores vaginal moisture and makes sexual activity more fulfilling. Women who have experienced a decline in the ability to achieve orgasm often experience a return of orgasmic function, enhancing their ability to have a satisfying sex life. It is very effective. It is available at Imara Medical Centre. A consultation is necessary to ensure the procedure is right for you. The Oshot is a fairly new technique. Your gynaecologist may not be aware of it. It is very safe. It cannot harm you, it can only make things better!!
for further information see http://imaramedical.com/prp-therapy
To book an Oshot consultation go to http://imaramedical.com/contact or call us at 630-4547 or 550-6225