Surgical procedures are not recommended for everyone. Women who are just beginning to experience symptoms of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse may opt for non-surgical methods as their first step. For women dealing with mild symptoms, these simple changes may be effective treatment.
FOR THE TREATMENT OF PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
More commonly, this form of therapy is known as “Kegel exercises.” These exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor providing enhanced support for the bladder neck and urethra. Typically, many women need guidance and education from trained therapists to learn the technique. At our center, we have a program designed specifically for women who have poor muscle tone in the pelvic floor.
A vaginal pessary is a removable device placed into the vagina similar to a diaphragm. It is designed to support areas of pelvic organ prolapse. There are a variety of pessaries available, made of rubber, plastic, or silicone-based material.
FOR THE TREATMENT OF INCONTINENCE
Women are directed to introduce simple lifestyle changes—like making frequent visits to the restroom, drinking fewer liquids at night, and limiting coffee and alcohol. By doing so, some women are able to minimize the frequency and severity of their urinary incontinence symptoms. Evidence also suggests that postural changes (i.e. not crossing legs) may help minimize stress urinary incontinence symptoms, while weight loss can reduce symptoms of stress, urge, and mixed incontinence.
Not unlike injecting collagen for fuller lips, this procedure involves thickening the urethral lining, which helps the urethra close more tightly. Although bulking agents reduce leakage in women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence, the effectiveness of the injection does decrease over time. After 1-2 years, the procedure will likely need to be repeated. The most common complications are pain during the injection, as well as a potential for transient urinary retention and voiding dysfunction after the procedure.
For women who suffer from urge incontinence, daily prescriptions may restore bladder control. Medications improve symptoms in many patients. Some side effects include constipation, dry eyes and mouth. However, there are no medications currently available to treat stress urinary incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation and a Vaginal Pessary are also possible options to treat urge incontinence. You can read more information about these treatments above.