Female Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence in women is a very common, often a consequence of childbirth or ageing. It can be a significant cause of embarrassment and loss of quality of life. However urinary incontinence is a readily treatable condition, for many women cure is possible.
Pelvic floor training is often the first means of managing stress urinary incontinence caused by weakness of the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that attach to the lower bones of the pelvis. The outlet from the bladder, called the urethra, passes through the pelvic floor and so contraction of these muscles can assist in compensating for incontinence. When the pelvic floor is contracted the muscles increase support of the pelvic organs and tighten the urinary sphincter.
Pelvic floor and bladder training is available at the Urological Outpatients Clinic under the supervision of our continence nurse. She will assist you in correctly identifying your pelvic floor and teach you the correct technique for performing strengthening exercises.
Surgery for female incontinence.
Suburethral sling surgery represents a very major advance in the management of female incontinence and for appropriately selected women, can offer cure rates of 80 to 85%.
Suburethral slings all work to improve support to the urethra, similar to the normal function of the pelvic floor, which helps to prevent urine leakage during activities and straining.
There are a variety of slings available and the best choice for you will be discussed at a pre-operative consultation.The surgery is minimally invasive and involves a short 24 hour stay in hospital. Following the procedure, recovery is usually short and you can expect to promptly return to your normal activities.
Most women notice an improvement in continence very shortly after surgery however improvement can continue up to four months post-operatively.