Do you try to stifle your laugh in public, choke down your coughs and squeeze down your sneezes?
Incontinence is a tricky and troublesome problem that causes great distress. The thing is, it’s a very common concern among many Australians, particularly for those in their 40s-50s. In fact, more than 5 million Australians experience some degree of incontinence.
Understandably, even though this issue is such a common experience at some point in life, most patients feel very embarrassed to discuss it. Often, there is fear that the treatment process will be complicated and invasive. This leads to unnecessarily delayed diagnosis and treatment.
Let’s debunk some incontinence myths and take you on the path to understanding what’s in store if you decide you’d like to seek treatment.
Soon you’ll be letting your laughter loose.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence, by definition, is a loss of control over bladder function. The most prevalent form of incontinence is stress incontinence – and no, this doesn’t have anything to do with your stress levels. It means that bladder leakage occurs when pressure (stress) is placed upon your bladder. The cause of this pressure? Things like exercise, laughing, coughing etc, usually do the trick. Sound familiar?
Stress incontinence affects up to 50% of Australian women, but Dr Merci Kusel of Azure Medical has identified that only 15% will seek help. Let’s change that statistic for the better. Azure Medical doctors are committed to helping you get bladder leakage under control in a comfortable, relaxed environment.
Causes of urinary incontinence
Before we get into incontinence treatment, let’s cover the causes. While anyone can experience incontinence at any age, and for any number of reasons, these are some of the most common triggers:
- Pregnancy (both before and after childbirth, vaginal or Caesarian section)
- Having surgery that impacts the area
- Radiation therapy
- Health concerns such as diabetes, kidney problems, IBS or inflammatory bowel disease
- Lifestyle factors like smoking and obesity.
Symptoms of incontinence
If you have any of these symptoms, you might be suffering from stress incontinence:
- Bladder leakage during sport or exercise
- Bladder control feels impossible so you wear a pantyliner “just in case”
- You plan your daily routine around where the nearest toilet is
- A need to empty your bladder more frequently
- Rushing to get to the toilet in time
- Bladder leakage when you sneeze, cough or laugh.
If you experience some of these symptoms, book in a chat with your GP to get a diagnosis.
Treatments are available for urinary incontinence
What if we told you that there was a non-invasive, easy and comfortable treatment for incontinence that only takes two 30 minute sessions? With minimal downtime, you can even return home or back to work right away.
Sounds good, right?
Say hello to vaginal laser treatment.
It’s actually a laser treatment and works by precisely heating up the tissue. The laser stimulates collagen production and can drastically improve the strength and structure of your vagina. Surgery free, this is a more natural solution that can support your pelvic floor and return your bladder to its normal function.
The benefits don’t stop there. Laser vaginal rejuvenation can also help with pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal tightening and menopause symptoms like vaginal soreness and dryness.
How to help improve incontinence naturally
Outside of laser treatment and surgery, there are also some things that you can do at home to support your bladder control and help with incontinence. In fact, we recommend these in conjunction with laser treatment for best results.
- Daily pelvic floor exercises
- Exercises that improve core muscle strength, like pilates
- Quitting smoking
- Following a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy body weight
- Drinking lots of water daily
- Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol.
If you’re ready to get back to living a confident, carefree lifestyle, filled with laughter and the freedom that comes with not being constantly worried about “accidents,” book in now with one of our friendly doctors to learn more about how we can help you.