Stress incontinence disrupts daily life by causing urine to leak during physical activity. Stemming from weak pelvic muscles, this condition renders the sphincter unable to hold back urine when pressure is placed upon the abdomen. Triggers can include exercise and heavy lifting, or even laughing and sneezing. There are several causes for weakened pelvic muscles, which means a variety of stress incontinence treatments to fit your specific needs.
At Aesthetics, our holistic approach to treatment encompasses both surgical procedures, and non-surgical procedures like pelvic muscle training, medication, and coaching on behavioral changes. The guidance you’ll receive depends upon the severity of your symptoms. Each component is designed to significantly reduce, if not completely eliminate, any instances of urinary incontinence. To discover which course of action is right for you, call (320) 347-1515 for a free, no-obligation consultation at our home office in New London, MN.
Am I A Candidate?
Our treatment options are flexible enough to cover anyone suffering from any level of stress incontinence. The primary risk factors that can cause the condition through weakened pelvic muscles include:
- Child birth
- Pelvic surgeries
- Certain medications
- An injured urethra
The following medications can be used for mild to moderate cases:
- Anticholinergic drugs for overactive bladders
- Antimuscarinic drugs to block bladder contractions
- Alpha-adrenergic agonist drugs
Estrogen therapy may be prescribed for women who have gone through menopause to reduce urinary frequency, urgency, and burning. It also serves to strengthen and increase blood flow to the urethral sphincter muscles.
Mild to moderate stress incontinence can oftentimes resolve itself through these simple behavioral changes:
- Drinking less fluids
- Taking in less alcohol and caffeine
- Increasing fiber intake to regulate bowel movements
- Avoiding spicy foods, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and other foods that irritate the bladder.
- Maintaining a healthy BMI
- Quitting smoking to reduce bladder irritation and coughing
- Maintaining a stable blood sugar level for those with diabetes
Apex™! Biofeedback and Electrical Stimulation
Pelvic muscle training through Apex™! exercises improves vaginal strength and bladder control. These toning sessions take only 5-10 minutes complete, and—when performed daily—help prevent urine loss from sneezing, laughing, coughing, or exercise. Biofeedback and electrical stimulation can also aid in teaching muscle control, and is reserved for those unable to complete pelvic muscle training.
Also designed to strengthen the pelvic floor, Kegel exercises may be used in conjunction with Apex™!. They revolve around finding the muscles which control your urinary stream, and contracting them for a series of repetitions. They can be done from any position, and should be performed three times a day.
A fractionated laser device is used to tighten the muscles in the vagina’s anterior(front) wall, in a procedure that takes only 20 minutes to complete. It’s the same method that Aesthetics uses for vaginal tightening. Laser therapy is commonly prescribed for those suffering from pelvic prolapse—a condition where the bladder places pressure against the vaginal walls.
For most women the treatment discussed above and provided by Aesthetics are very satisfying. In the occasions were they are not, surgical options are available.
There’s no downtime or recovery for any of the non-surgical treatments. Although, after the laser procedure, there’s a slim chance you could experience cramping, discharge, and bleeding during the first 24 hours. Recovery for the surgical methods will require downtime.
The non-surgical route can yield stellar improvements for cases of mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence. Lasting results are dependent upon the patient’s dedication to following the after care plan which may include APEX biofeedback, Kegels or other daily routines. Results from laser therapy will gradually improve in the following months, follow-up treatments are likely due to ongoing tissue toxification. Only the surgical route, however, can lead to a permanent cure, and only for certain candidates.