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Comprehensive Treatment of Urinary Incontinence

As you age, there are a myriad of issues that can affect a woman’s health, including issues that may have a negative effect on your everyday activities and overall quality of life. One of these problems is stress urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary leaking of urine whenever you sneeze, cough, laugh, exercise – the list goes on. Urinary incontinence occurs when the muscles of the pelvic floor are weakened, usually due to increased pressure on those muscles from pregnancy, vaginal childbirth, chronic coughing, chronic constipation, strenuous exercise, heavy lifting or normal aging.

Stress incontinence is the most prevalent form of urinary incontinence, and is a common problem that affects nearly 15 million women in America each year. At Cosmetic Gynecology and Aesthetics, we offer a comprehensive program to help treat urinary incontinence, utilizing a variety of techniques to create a personalized plan designed to alleviate your symptoms and restore your quality of life.

Physical Therapy

If you suffer from stress incontinence, you may have a pelvic floor disorder that can be treated with physical therapy. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment performed by a physical therapist who is trained specifically in the manipulation of the connective tissues and muscles that make up the pelvic floor. This treatment is designed to strengthen and retrain your pelvic floor muscles, which can in turn help treat stress incontinence. Pelvic floor physical therapy can address the underlying issues in the nerves, muscles, joints and connective tissues in the pelvis, issues that if left untreated can result in reduced blood flow, problems with mobility, pain, urinary or fecal incontinence, and prolapse of pelvic organs, including the bladder, rectum, vaginal or uterus.

Pelvic floor physical therapy can benefit you in a variety of ways, by helping you to understand the cause of your stress incontinence and providing treatment as well as a comprehensive program to treat your stress incontinence symptoms.

Pessary

A pessary is a prosthetic device, usually made of plastic or silicone, that is inserted into the vagina to support a weakened pelvic floor, as well as weak or prolapsed organs (such as the uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum). Pessaries come in numerous shapes and sizes, and can be fitted specifically for you by a doctor. Depending on your issue, they can be placed permanently or used as a temporary treatment.

In the case of stress incontinence, a pessary is used as a nonsurgical tool to help support the neck of the bladder and alleviate the problems associated with a leaky bladder. While surgical intervention can be an option to treat urinary incontinence, pessaries are often recommended for women who are not ready for surgery, may want to get pregnant, or are not good candidates for surgery due to age or frailty.

Phoenix CO2 Laser

One of the vaginal rejuvenation options that we offer that can also help address stress incontinence is the Phoenix CO2 laser. This treatment uses CO2 fractional laser technology designed to deliver fractional beams of CO2 laser energy to the tissues of the vagina. These precise pulses of laser energy cause the tissues to contract, while also stimulating natural collagen production in the vaginal area. There are several advantages to this treatment, one of which is added support at the base of your bladder, which can help alleviate stress incontinence. The treatment is minimally invasive, safe and painless, and takes under 15 minutes. There is no downtime necessary for healing, and no side effects.

Surgery

The purpose of surgery to address stress incontinence is to correct the position of the urethra, bladder, or both, lifting them back into their proper position. Most people find that surgery is the best choice for remedying stress incontinence.

Post surgery, your surgeon will let you know what your restrictions are, as well as schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. You will typically need to avoid sexual intercourse and tampon use, as well as strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. As with most surgeries, there are risks and side effects involved, but these are usually minor.

Vaginal Weights

Most women have heard of Kegel exercises, used to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. Vaginal weights, or cones, take this concept to the next level. Use of vaginal weights allows a woman to locate and isolate the pelvic floor muscles in order to strengthen them, which helps to decrease episodes of stress incontinence.

Vaginal weights are typically smooth and cone-shaped and when inserted into the vagina, force you to automatically tighten your pelvic floor muscles in an attempt to prevent the weights from slipping out. This also engages the sling that supports the bladder, tightening it to help hold the weight. Once it is inserted, you can work on keeping the weight in place by squeezing your pelvic muscles. Depending on the instructions of your surgeon, you will use the weights for a certain amount of time each day, eventually working up to longer periods of time or heavier weights. As with many treatments, some women experience better results than others, but vaginal weights can be a helpful complement to stress incontinence treatments.

If you are experiencing stress incontinence and the diminished quality of life that can accompany urinary leakage that disorder, it may be time to seek a comprehensive treatment plan from our experienced team at Cosmetic Gynecology and Aesthetics. Call us today at 904-384-8023 to schedule an appointment for a consultation, and reclaim your confidence.

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