You are not alone. Many women suffer in silence with urinary incontinence.
Thirty three percent of women over the age of 65 will develop this condition, but it can also affect younger women as well. It may start as an occasional leakage of urine with a cough or a sudden urge to run to the bathroom. However, over time it can lead to more complicated medical issues or develop into a chronic problem that limits a woman’s quality of life. Frequently she will give up activities such as exercise, or will need a sanitary pad to prevent accidents and even become more reluctant to leave the house without knowing where the next bathroom will be. In rare cases the condition can result in medical complications such as kidney infections and kidney failure.
Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t discuss Urinary Incontinence with their friends or doctor due to feelings of embarrassment and may consider these “accidents” to be a normal part of aging. But, although it is a common medical problem, Urinary Incontinence is NOT a normal part of the aging process. There are very effective treatment options that can restore a woman’s independence. She may find it more comfortable to talk with a urogynecologist because they specialize in treating these issues. Depending on the causes of urinary incontinence, treatments can involve conservative therapy, exercises, biofeedback, medical therapy, and surgery.
Diagnosis and treatment
Dr. Farnam uses office urodynamic testing to identify the underlying cause of urinary incontinence. He offers the latest Minimally Invasive treatment options. For a woman with Stress Urinary Incontinence, Dr. Farnam offers a simple outpatient surgical treatment which can permanently prevent leakage, and restore her quality of life. The treatment involves the placement of a Mesh Midurethral sling with no visible incisions or scarring. This midurethral sling is performed in the operating room in approximately 15 minutes.
Because there has been some confusion over negative reports on a different system (transvaginal mesh), the American Urogynecologic Society and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction in January 2014 issued this position statement (link), which strongly supports the use of the mid-urethral sling in the surgical management of stress urinary incontinence.
Despite this clarification, some women may still choose to have a non-mesh surgical repair for incontinence. Dr. Farnam offers the robotic Burch procedure, which is highly effective minimally invasive surgery, but it does require a longer operating time and small abdominal incisions. However, in cases of severe incontinence, a Mesh Midurethral sling remains the best option.