Treatments for Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is treatable at any age, but not all approaches work for every person or for every type of incontinence. There are a variety of treatment options, some of which may involve surgery.
Nonsurgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence
Behavioral/Muscle Therapy: Therapy often starts with Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Depending on the severity of your condition, however, Kegels may not bring sufficient relief.
Biofeedback: In this method, the patient exercises the pelvic floor muscles while connected to an electrical sensing device. The device provides “feedback” to help you learn how to better control these muscles. Over time, biofeedback can help you use your pelvic muscles to decrease sudden urges to urinate and lessen certain types of pelvic pain.
Electrical stimulation: This approach aids pelvic floor exercises by isolating the muscles involved for extra stimulus.
Medication: Some types of urinary incontinence, like urge incontinence, can be treated with medications; however, there is currently no medication approved to treat stress urinary incontinence in the US.
For women whose incontinence is caused by pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a pessary can be inserted into the vagina to support and reposition the pelvic area. This small device can help relieve mild symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, including incontinence. In some instances, a pessary may make urinary incontinence worse; if this happens,see your doctor to discuss other treatment options.
Effective surgical options
While mild symptoms of incontinence may be treated using the methods described above, women with more serious symptoms may respond best to a surgical procedure.
Today’s minimally invasive options mean you may be able to treat incontinence with a simple outpatient procedure. In one type of treatment, your surgeon inserts a tape-like strip of mesh through very small incisions in the abdomen or vagina to support the urethra. The mesh acts as a supportive sling, allowing the urethra to stay closed when appropriate. Click here to learn more about this procedure to treat stress urinary incontinence.
Be sure to talk to a doctor about the treatment options that may be best for you. Click here for a list of questions to ask your doctor about stress urinary incontinence.
Before making a final decision about your treatment, review all your options and consider getting a second opinion. Find a doctor familiar with GYNECARE® products who can perform this procedure.
Why keep planning your life around incontinence if you don't have to?