Three million women in England are living with stress urinary incontinence, but Lisa Stevens is not one of them.
Stevens, who had lived with the often-embarrassing symptoms of stress urinary incontinence for more than two decades, was recently cured of the condition through a laser vaginal-tightening procedure known as ThermiVa.
ThermiVa uses radiofrequency energy to cause the tissues of the vagina to contract.
Laser vaginal-tightening procedures are designed to reduce vaginal laxity, or the feelings of "looseness" caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Many women who undergo laser vaginal tightening do so to improve satisfaction from intercourse.
A byproduct of the procedure is reduced urine leakage caused by stress urinary incontinence. Reduction in urine leakage occurs because the heat of the radiofrequency causes increased collagen and elastin production in the vaginal tissue, which induces more tightening. This tightening helps to support the urethra and reduce urine leakage.
Stress urinary incontinence is a condition that develops when stress is put on the bladder. Its most prevalent symptom is unintended urine leakage during coughing, sneezing, exercising or even just standing up.
"Some women can simply turn the 'wrong' way and end up with urine leakage," said Dr. Mona Alqulali, a Bettendorf, Iowa, OB-GYN.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, one in three American women is living with the condition.
Although men can be affected by the condition, women have a higher risk of developing stress urinary incontinence because of the weight of pregnancy and pressure of childbirth on the bladder.
"Most women experience the onset of stress urinary incontinence during the latter months of their pregnancy," Alqulali said.
After pregnancy and childbirth, the condition can worsen with age and menopause.
Other symptoms of stress urinary incontinence include obesity, prolapsed reproductive organs, urinary tract infections and straining during urination and defecation.
All of these situations put stress on the pelvic floor, the band of muscles that stretch between the pubic bone to help hold the bladder in place. Constant pressure on the pelvic floor can cause a weakening of these muscles, which in turn causes urinary leakage.
Stress urinary incontinence can be aggravated by drinking caffeinated and carbonated beverages, consuming alcohol and eating spicy foods.
"These activities can overstimulate the bladder, which increases urine leakage as well as the feeling that one needs to 'go,'" said Alqulali.
The frequent urge to urinate in combination with urine leakage can be embarrassing. As a result, many women avoid social and physical activities and, because some women can have leakage during intercourse, they avoid intimate moments with their partners.
One conventional treatment for stress urinary incontinence is pelvic floor-strengthening exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, to help return support to the bladder. Some prescription medications can also help to reduce the urge to urinate, too.
"These treatments can help in many cases, but some women still have problems with urine leakage," said Alqulali.
These treatments also involve anesthesia and downtime, which can make some women wary.
"Many women living with stress urinary incontinence put off having surgical interventions because they are too busy to have invasive surgical procedures that require long recoveries. They have families and jobs to tend to, so they can't be down for weeks recovering from surgery," Alqulali said.
Learn more about how Infinity Medical Group can help treat stress urinary incontinence by calling 888-716-0559 today.
Daily Mail. Woman, 53, who wet herself when she laughed or coughed is cured of her crippling urinary incontinence after undergoing a painless vagina-tightening procedure. 5 July 2018.