Understanding the human body can take years of research, science and patience. Over the course of time, we begin to learn more about our bodies and if any part of it isn’t functioning the way it should be, then we become alarmed. Thankfully, medicine has become very advanced, providing various solutions depending on the situation. One of the health concerns many people have is Stress Incontinence - which is the unintentional loss of urine. This is more common in women, in comparison to men. Simple activities and actions such as laughing, coughing, lifting heavy objects or anything which puts pressure on your bladder can increase the risk of Stress Incontinence. If you have ever felt the need to cross your legs before coughing or afraid of laughing too hard incase urine leaks onto your pants, then this can be a sign that it’s time to seek medical assistance to gain further clarity.
To determine the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask specific questions and request certain physical exams to be done. Additionally, a urine sample may be required to test for infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities. If Stress Incontinence is the diagnosis, then your medical professional will present you with various solutions to guide you through and make you feel comfortable. Although surgical intervention is an option to treat Stress Incontinence, many people choose to opt in for less invasive procedures that can help control this condition. Devices designed specifically for women, have been proven to help relief the symptoms of Stress Incontinence. Below are a few recommendations:
- Vaginal Pessary: This device comes in the shape of a circle/ring and fits in the vagina. The two bumps on the rings sit on each side of the urethra. The Vaginal Pessary helps prevent urine leakage, especially in the event ones bladder has dropped (prolapsed). The initial procedure is inserted by the healthcare provider and a routine check up is done every once in remove and clean the device as well as the area it was inserted in.
- Urethral Inserts: This is a disposable device similar to a tampon, which is inserted into the urethra, creating a barrier that helps prevent leakage. This is more temporary than the Vaginal Pessary and can be worn up to 8 hours a day and used mainly for days where heavy activities will be expected, whether its running, lifting heavy items or exercising.
Aside from urine leakage, many other side effects can accompany this condition. People often feel embarrassment and anxiety from the impacts of Stress Incontinence on normal daily life activities. Treatment for this, whether it's the use of the devices or surgery, can help reduce the mental and physical strain it creates. Speaking with your doctor will provide further reassurance and they will decide on what type of treatment best fits your needs. Whichever method you choose, keeping a positive attitude and having a good support system will also be a major factor that helps get through Stress Incontinence.