Blog

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) – Don’t Settle for a Life of Leakage

Blog

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) – Don’t Settle for a Life of Leakage

You don’t have to live with urinary incontinence – VPFW help is available. You might be reading this and not even think twice about crossing your legs when you sneeze or cough hard. You’ve had a baby or have aged and feel like this is just nature taking its course. Yes, it is common but no you don’t have to settle for a life of leakage. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary leakage of urine during common lifestyle activities such as coughing, laughing or exercising. SUI effects at least 10-20% of women over the age of 45 and half of all women over the age of 65. Incontinence can largely affect your personal and social lifestyle. Sadly, a lot of women do not realize how often this occurs and how many simple, effective treatment options are available.

“But, I am uncomfortable talking about this – when should I bring it up?”

  • Bladder leaking during every day activities such as sneezing, laughing and coughing
  • Experience leakage when lifting heavy objects or during your exercise routine
  • Feeling an urgent and uncontrollable need to urinate
  • Feeling you can’t completely empty your bladder, which can cause urine leaks afterwards
  • Difficulty starting a urine stream

We pride ourselves on creating an environment where you feel comfortable and safe. Please don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor about your concerns or symptoms. Be sure to bring this up at the beginning of your visit and not wait until the end so you and your doctor have ample opportunity to discuss in detail.

Talk Freely – your doctor helps women with the same issues every day. Don’t feel nervous or embarrassed to share personal details about how this is impacting your lifestyle. We are here to help.

Prepare for your visit:

Start keeping a bladder diary 2-4 weeks prior to your appointment. This is a tool to track your day-to-day symptoms. In your diary, you will write down your liquid intake and how often you are using the restroom. You will also need to track when you are having leaks and what might have caused the leak based on what you were doing when the leak occurred. The diary will help provide your doctor with a strong foundation to discuss potential solutions.

“Okay, I got it. Now, what are my options?”

  • Lifestyle changes: Changing your diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Constipation can make incontinence worse. Eat high fiber foods and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the most important lifestyle changes to make. Chronic coughing can increase the frequency and severity of urinary leaks and pressure on the pelvic floor.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises: Over 75% of women who regularly completed these exercises showed improvement within 3-6 months.
  • Bladder Training: For women who experience a problem with urge urinary incontinence, some doctors will suggest following a fixed schedule to urinate. This would include lengthening the time between bathroom visits by small amounts of time.
  • Surgery: Most doctors will encourage their patients to avoid surgery until their family is complete. The most common surgical treatment now is the use of a permanent sling that lies under the middle of the urethra. The slings works by providing support to the urethra when you cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise. 80-90% of women who undergo sling procedures are either cured or show improvement in their incontinence symptoms following surgery.

There is no time like the present to seek help. Gain back your confidence and take the first step by booking your appointment with us today. Give us a call at 804.897.2100 or request an appointment online by clicking, here.