As we age, we lose the support of the tissues around the urethra, the 'tube' that urine comes out of from the bladder. This tube sits just above the front wall of the vagina. Damage to the tissues during childbirth, and vaginal atrophy of the tissues during menopause can weaken these tissues further. When the pressure in your bladder is higher than what the urethra can hold, such as when you sneeze, cough or jump, urine leaks out. This might be a few drops, a teaspoon, a tablespoon, or in the worst cases a small cup worth of urine.
Traditionally, mild to moderate stress Urinary Incontinence has been treated with pelvic floor exercises (kegels), and obstetric physiotherapy, which require continued practice to maintain results, and don't work for everyone. Urge Incontinence is often treated with water restriction, or anticolinergic medications taken daily which give side effects such as a dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation. If these don't work, until recently, the next step was surgery.
Now there are newer, easier and effective ways of treating both stress and urge Incontinence, without surgery. Both the O-Shot and ThermiVa help to support and strengthen the tissues around the urethra, in many cases stopping or significantly reducing bladder leakage. Because they improve both vaginal and urethral tissue, a nice side effect of the treatments is often an improvement in sensation, lubrication and orgasm with sexual activity.
If you are interested in ThermiVa or the O-Shot the first step is to come in for a initial consultation. During this consult we will assess your current condition and advise whether ThermiVa or the O-Shot is appropriate - if it is, our clinicians can perform this treatment on the day.
Read Dr Cat's blog 'How ThermiVa treats a leaky bladder' here.