Posts Tagged ‘SUI’

Urinary Incontinence In Women Athletes-Don’t Suffer In Silence!

July 12, 2015

One of the most common, but rarely discussed issues that female athletes face is urinary incontinence during exercise. This phenomenon is also known as stress urinary incontinence and is defined as the involuntary leaking of urine during activities like running, jumping, laughing or coughing. This problem affects nearly 50% of women who exercise but mostly only a few drops come out and not considered a significant problem. This can often be controlled using Kegel exercises. (see my website for more information on Kegel exercises, http://www.neilbaum.com)

One study estimates that leaking of urine occurs in 47% of exercising women (average age was 38 years in this study). Many attribute this problem due to pregnancy and childbirth; however, studies have shown that 25-28% of high school and collegiate athletes who have never been pregnant report stress urinary incontinence. These numbers are even higher in sports that significantly increase the intra-pelvic pressure like gymnastics and trampoline where 60-80% of athletes report incontinence!
What’s the Cause of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)?
In most cases, SUI is caused by a dysfunctional pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, connective tissue and sphincters. These three types of structures have three main functions: 1) stabilize the spine and the pelvis, 2) support the pelvic organs, and 3) control the retention and release of urine and stool.
One reason the pelvic floor can become dysfunctional is that the muscles and connective tissues become stretched or weak during or after pregnancy. However, they can also become too tight or “stay on” too much of the time, so that they can’t contract quickly or strong enough during high-impact activities, like in running or jumping sports.
The Impact of SUI
Stress urinary incontinence is not only embarrassing for women, but many either stop exercising altogether or stop doing sports/activities that they love to avoid this problem. In addition, pelvic floor dysfunction can also lead to pain – during intercourse or at rest, so this problem can negatively impact many areas of women’s lives.
Treating SUI
Fortunately, there are several ways to improve pelvic floor function and stop episodes of incontinence. The first step is to be evaluated by a physician who specializes in the pelvic floor (certain sports medicine physicians, gynecologists or urologynecologists). Often patients are referred to women’s health physical therapists to learn exercises to improve their pelvic floor function. It’s important to note that the exercise regimen is more unique and comprehensive than Kegel’s for every woman. Some women improve with Kegel’s, but others need to learn to relax their pelvic floor rather than strengthen it. In addition to therapy, there are medications, injections and surgical procedures that can be used if necessary.
Bottom Line:
For the female athlete, pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence is under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated. It can lead to women avoiding sports or exercise as well as decreased performance. With the right diagnosis and treatment, it can be completely resolved. Don’t suffer in silence. See your doctor.

A Balloon In The Bladder-A New Treatment For Incontinence

June 18, 2014

Laughter is the best medicine; but not for overactive bladder! This is a common condition affecting 15 million American men and women. Now a new novel treatment that does not require surgery is currently undergoing clinical studies in the United States in order to achieve FDA approval.

Stress urinary incontinence or loss of urine with coughing, sneezing, laughing, or even bending over to tie your shoes is the most prevalent form of incontinence among women, affects an estimated 140 million women worldwide. SUI is defined as the inability of the bladder to store urine during normal everyday physical activities without sudden increases in bladder pressure.

The Solace Bladder Control System is a non-surgical alternative to involuntary urinary leakage. The Solace Bladder Control Balloon is a small, lightweight device that floats within the urinary bladder. The balloon is designed to eliminate or reduce involuntary urinary leakage. It acts as a “shock absorber” to reduce the temporary pressure changes in the bladder that cause urinary leakage.

The Solace Bladder Control Balloon procedure is performed in the physician’s office. No medication or preparation is required before the procedure. The physician places the Solace Bladder Control Balloon into the bladder through a small tube inserted into the bladder under a local anesthetic. Pressure reduction is immediate. The balloon can be removed at any time.

For more information on the Bladder Control Balloon go to http://www.stopsui.com.

Bottom Line: Incontinence is a common condition that affects millions of American men and women. At the present time there is no medication to treat this problem. The Bladder Control Balloon may be a treatment option.