Coping with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Many people struggle with stress incontinence.

It is a common issue and not something you should feel embarrassed to discuss with your doctor. In many cases, patients can benefit from more than one treatment option, giving them the ability to find the best solution for their individual needs. You and your doctor at University Urology should discuss the treatment options available. These include behavior therapies, medication, devices and surgery.

Stress urinary incontinence is the unintentional leakage of urine that happens when physical movement or activity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or heavy lifting puts pressure or stress on the bladder. The condition can sometimes be mistaken for being associated with mental stress, however it is not related to psychological stress.

Behavioral modifications
Behavior therapies that can help with incontinence include pelvic floor muscle exercises, neuro-stimulation, decreasing consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, smoking cessation, losing excess weight, and scheduling regular toilet trips.

Duloxetine is a medicine that is usually used to treat depression. However, it has been shown to help with stress incontinence by interfering with certain chemicals that are used in transmitting nerve impulses to muscles. This helps the muscles around the urethra contract more strongly.

 Non-surgical devices
Certain devices designed for women may help control stress incontinence, including urethral inserts, which is a small tampon-like disposable device inserted into the urethra that acts as a barrier to prevent leakage.

 Surgical options
Surgical interventions for stress incontinence are designed to improve closure of the sphincter or support the bladder neck. Surgical options include injectable bulking agents, and inflatable artificial sphincter and sling procedures (surgical mesh). Transvaginal sling with mesh is the most common procedure performed in women with stress incontinence. In this procedure, the surgeon either uses the patient’s own tissue, donor tissue or synthetic material (mesh) to create a sling or hammock that supports the urethra. Research suggests that the complications are infrequent and rarely require follow-up surgery.

If you are suffering from Stress Urinary Incontinence and would like to further explore what treatments are right for you, give University Urology a call today at (212) 686-9015. Our friendly staff will get you scheduled quickly and on the way to relief.