Stress incontinence (also called urinary incontinence) can affect a woman’s quality of life in several ways. Some women leak urine when they cough, laugh, run, jump, or have intercourse. Others feel the need to urinate frequently and/or urgently throughout the day or in the middle of the night. Millions of women suffer from stress incontinence, but with a trip to Ogden Clinic’s gynecology office, relief is possible.
Ogden Clinic Gynecologists provide a comprehensive evaluation that includes urodynamics testing which is used to identify the cause of the incontinence. Our experienced gynecology surgeons will work with you to determine the best treatment for you which may include Kegel exercises, physical therapy, tension-free vaginal tape, TVT, medications, injections or Interstim.
Urodynamics is a procedure to evaluate the lower urinary tract function for patients that experience incontinence and urinary discomfort. Patients must arrive to the office with a full bladder for the test. The test is performed while lying down with a catheter gently inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The study typically takes 10-15 minutes and involves minor radiation exposure. Mild irritation of the urethra is common. On rare occasions, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the iodine-based contrast dye. Additional tests may be indicated to establish a diagnosis.
Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) is used as a urethral support sling in a minimally invasive procedure that can help correct or improve urinary stress incontinence. The soft mesh tape is used to support the urethra. The sling functions similar to a hammock in which your urethra rests to prevent leakage. This is a procedure that is performed in the hospital under anesthesia, but most patients go home the same day.
InterStim® therapy is used to regulate the nerves that control incontinence. The therapy is like a “pacemaker” for the bladder that prevents your bladder from leaking or making you urinate frequently. This is a procedure typically reserved for patients who have already tried medication to control their urinary symptoms and did not experience improvement or were unable to tolerate the side effects of medication.
One advantage of considering InterStim® is that a trial-run is available. A thin wire is attached to the device which is temporarily placed near your sacral nerves near the pelvis. Patients leave the office and the device is taped to the skin for a few days. During that time, you will keep track of your urinary symptoms to see if InterStim® can make a difference for you. If symptoms improve, patients may choose to have InterStim® implanted surgically. If the device doesn’t relieve symptoms, the temporary wire is removed and there are no long-term effects.