Mention Urinary Incontinence (UI) to most women and they will probably just laugh it off, but silently they do not find it funny at all, in most cases they just suffer in silence and tend not to talk about it. The true devastating consequences of living with mild to moderate UI are however far reaching physically and emotionally.
Wetting your pants won’t kill you! Not even if you foolishly decide to join the all women’s team at the the local Muddy Princess Race – Your team mates: “Girl what happened to you? Why did you just GIVE UP!!! And there go all your good intentions of being a brave, bold, beautiful & strong DIVA completely down the toilet in just a few seconds ….OR NOT But the secondary effects of it definitely might , If you publicly wet yourself while shopping you don’t tend to go back to shopping a conditions that will be devastating for most women I know.
And as if you did not have enough to worry about the Odour Control issue is enough to to put any women in a foul mood.
But on a more serious note: Urinary incontinence represents one of the most prevalent female intimate health issues negatively effecting a women’s quality of life. The inability to control urine is quite an unpleasant and distressing problem. It will impact your health if you stop running or exercising, it causes substantial morbidity, social seclusion, psychological & sexual stress and impaired quality of life.
1:3 women are being disempower by UI and this is totally unacceptable.
The International Continence Society define Urinary Incontinence as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine and which is a social or hygienic problem.”
UI is estimated to have effected 423 Million people world wide by the end of 2018. WOMEN subject to urinary incontinence are reluctant and ashamed to admit it, and they may be slow to seek medical attention because they believe that theirs is a unique disability.
MOST COMMON TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE FOUND IN WOMEN:
1. Stress incontinence:
Progressive involuntary loss of urine when doing physical activity such as jumping, coughing, sneezing & climbing stairs. Etc. This UI occurs with no pre warning that you need to void. The extent of urine loss may range from occasional dribbling too gushing. It also seem to get worse over time, especially with the onset of menopausal atrophy. Also the most common UI that women tend to suffer from
2. Urge incontinence:
Is characterised by a feeling of fullness in the bladder, with an uncontrollable urge to void, and then suddenly have loss of urine. Women with this type of incontinence have no urinary control when there is an urge to void. It can have a slow onset however there are medical conditions that can cause urge incontinence temporarily ( Like a Urinary tract infections) that can easily be medically treated and resolved.
3. Mixed Incontinence:
Many women have symptoms of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. This combination is often referred to as mixed incontinence and is more common in older women.
CAUSES OF UI IN WOMEN:
Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and increased weight of the foetus can lead to stress incontinence
Childbirth: Difficult vaginal deliveries can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and thus bladder control. Difficult labours can also damage bladder nerves and support tissue, leading to drop or “prolapse” of the pelvic floor muscles.
Changes with age: Ageing of the bladder muscles affects the bladders capacity to store urine. Involuntary bladder contractions become more common with age which leads to UI. Referred to as detrusor over-activity in medical terms or an “Over Active Bladder”
Menopause: Pre-menopausal and menopausal women produce less oestrogen. Hormones like oestrogen are responsible for maintaining a healthy bladder and urethral lining, also known as mucosal thinning. Deterioration of these tissues aggravate UI.
Hysterectomy: Any surgery involving a woman’s reproductive system can lead to disruption of the muscle and ligaments that support the bladder. Damage to supporting muscle and nerves can lead to UI.
Neurological disorders: Neuromuscular diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, spinal cord injures and tumours can all influence the nerve signalling to the bladder and cause UI.
RISK FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO UI
Gender : Women are more likely to have stress incontinence. Age
Smoking. Family History
Other diseases like diabetes.
WHY INCONTINENCE MATTER:
We need to let women know that they don’t have to put up with the indignities and limitations that UI imposes on women’s lives.
LEAKING IS NOT NORMAL! BUT YOU ARE NOT ALONE:
Women with UI problems need to understand that they are not alone, and they don’t have to live with it, they need to understand what kind of help is out there and where to seek help and that most cases of UI can be improved.
Understand that leaking of any kind is abnormal, and left untreated it will get gradually worse over time.
A WEE BIT OF ADVISE :
The many causes of urinary incontinence make it imperative that a correct diagnostic evaluation be made if treatment is to be successful. A faulty diagnosis may lead to the wrong therapy that may make the condition considerably worse and thereby may jeopardize your health.
You need to seek help from your general practitioner, urologist or gynaecologist.
A proper medical and surgical history, clinical assessment and appropriate investigations need to be done before undergoing any treatments.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MILD TO MODERATE NON-COMPLICATED CASES:
Treatment options that are recommended for patients with uncomplicated UI include a range of non-surgical options:
Life style interventions
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT)
Bladder Retaining procedures
Medication for urge incontinence and over active bladder Electrical muscular stimulation.
Vaginal devises – to help hold up the bladder / Vaginal tightening procedures. BTL ULTRA FEMME 360’
Botulinum Toxin A for an Over Active Bladder
WHAT IS CONSIDERED COMPLICATED UI?
Incontinence associated with:
• Significant Pain
• Persistent blood in the urine
• Persistent reoccurring infections with fever • Pelvic floor that has had irradiation
PFMT: PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TRAINING:
Why should you care about your pelvic floor ?
Because that little sling of muscles holding up all your internal female organs MATTERS! Bet you are thinking your should have listened to the Midwife when she told you to do your KEGEL Exercise in the car every day while driving to work. In todays world women want choices! Want to be able to positively take control of how their bodies change. Oral medication and surgical interventions in non complicated cases of UI are not necessarily the only interventions.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) is the most commonly used physical therapy treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
It is sometimes also recommended for mixed urinary incontinence (MUI) and, urgency urinary incontinence (UUI).
Pelvis floor muscle training (PFMT) is better than no treatment, placebo or inactive control treatments for women with UI .
PFMT has been proven to reduce the number of leakage episodes in women with all types of non-complicated UI. With the new innovative BTL EMSELLA devise pelvic floor muscle training can be taken to the next level.
CURRENT TREATMENT OPTIONS:
Require a combination of pelvic floor muscle exercises. HIFEM – BLT EMSELLA & intra- vaginal electro-stimulation -BTL ULTRA FEMME 360’
HIGH-INTENSITY FOCUSED ELECTROMAGNETIC TECHNOLOGY: BTL- EMSELLA
(HIFEM) Triggers intense pelvic floor muscle contractions by targeting neuromuscular tissue and inducing electrical currents. Stimulating the neutrons in a concentric contraction and lifts up all the pelvic floor muscles. The HIFEM technology brings deep pelvic floor muscle stimulation and restoration of the neuromuscular control. The HIFEM passes non incisively through pelvic area, therefor the the treatment is non-invasive, and women are able to stay fully clothed during the 28 minute therapy. Therapy typically involves 6 sessions schedules 2 X a week.
WHAT MAKES EMSELLA SO UNIQUE?
To regain continence, regular pelvic floor muscles exercising is required. Normally, 300-500 contractions of the pelvic floor muscles should be performed to begin to develop a new motor pattern, whereas 3,000-5,000 contractions are required to erase and correct poor motor pattern. During 1 session using EMSELLA technology, thousands PFM contractions are performed. This method is extremely important to PFM re-education as the patients are not able to perform this high-repetition rate pattern due to PFM weakness and an inability to consistently contract this muscle group. After 6 therapeutic sessions with HIFEM therapy, patients developed the new motor pattern needed to better control pelvic floor muscles and also regained muscle strength and continence control.
BTL – ULTRA FEMME 360:
The first and only devise to simultaneously combine radio-frequency and ultra sound to tighten and address intimate body concerns. Radio-frequency and Ultra Sound is one of the more innovative approaches to treating SUI and vulvo-vaginal laxity. It has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its non-invasiveness, absence of adverse events and fast results. The mechanism of action is based on elevating the temperature of the treated tissue to initiate biological changes. Radio-Frequency generated heat stimulates the tissue matrix of collagen, elastin, and ground substances and results in immediate change in the helical structure of the collagen. Additionally, neocollagenesis and neoelasto- genesis are triggered due to micro-inflammatory stimulation of tissue. It is also believed that the production of sex steroid precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is activated. DHEA supports oestrogen production in the vulvo-vaginal cells which plays a big role in rejuvenating and stimulating the vaginal tissue and collagen.The 360° Volumetric Heating enables the most effective and uniform heating of target tissue. It allows clinicians to treat effectively using high energy levels without compromising patient’s comfort.
The therapy course consisted of 6 sessions, 2 treatments per week.
WE REALLY NEAD TO BURST THE TABOO ABOUT URINARY INCONTINENCE.
Talking and communication still remain the best way to challenge beliefs that urinary incontinence is an inevitable part of ageing and that women just have to live with it. It is simply not true and simple changes to life-style and the use of innovative technology available to us that does not involve surgery can have a huge impact on the symptoms that women experience.