Incontinence Program for Women
If you are suffering from involuntary urine leakage, you are not alone. It is estimated that 13 million people in the United States experience temporary or chronic problems with urinary incontinence.
Although both men and women are affected, it is more prevalent in women. Most sufferers believe that it is something they just have to live with. It is also commonly believed to be a natural part of the aging process, which is not true. Plus, young women can also be susceptible to urinary incontinence. Because many people are ashamed or embarrassed to discuss the problem with their physician, they never learn about the many treatment approaches available.
At the Incontinence Program for Women at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, we use a variety of non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical treatment methods to address urinary incontinence, including:
- Bladder retraining - methods to retrain the bladder to hold larger volumes of urine and increase the time between voidings and lessen the sensation of urgency.
- Electrical stimulation
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and urethra.
- Vaginal weights
We begin with a thorough history of the patient’s condition and an evaluation. This may include a biofeedback assessment that can also be used as a teaching tool for those patients with poor awareness of pelvic floor contraction due to significant weakness.
The six to eight week program typically involves weekly physical therapy sessions. Additional biofeedback readings are taken to map a patient’s progress with muscle strengthening. Pelvic muscles, located at the bottom of the pelvis, stretch between the legs and are attached to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bone. Their function is to hold the bladder and other organs in place. Like other muscles, they can be strengthened with exercise.