(KUTV) An estimated 1 in 4 adult women experience bladder leaks, and many of them don’t talk about it. However, it’s an important subject to bring up with your provider because help is available.
For Rita Case, pregnancy not only meant being a new mom, it also meant bladder leaks.
“After I had my second one, that’s when all the issues started happening,” says Rita.
Things like coughing, sneezing, jumping, and running can trigger leakage. For Rita, this held her back from activities like exercising and playing with her kids.
“There was always that worry like, ‘Oh maybe I won’t be able to do that. Maybe I would have to stop or not do certain things that I was used to prior to having my kids,” says Rita.
If you’re like Rita and struggle with urinary stress incontinence, Dr. Scott Rallison, an OBGYN at Intermountain LDS Hospital, encourages you to talk with your provider because there are treatments available.
“We’re happy to help. We’re happy to present options,” says Dr. Rallison.
Non-surgical options include possible muscle training exercises like kegels, or sometimes using a pessary to put pressure on the bladder neck.
“Some women will wear those when they exercise when they might leak and it helps prevent leakage there, and then they may not need to wear it the rest of the time,” says Dr. Rallison.
Another option is what’s called a bladder sling procedure. This goes in and helps to lift up the bladder.
“Now when they cough or sneeze, instead of that neck falling down and the urine coming out, the bladder neck is supported in place,” says Dr. Rallison.
This is an outpatient surgery the often allows the patient to leave the hospital the day of the surgery or the day after.
“My recovery, it was quick and it was easy. So for me it did work. I would do it again if I had to,” says Rita.
Women who opt for the bladder sling procedure should most likely be finished having kids. If you are wanting or needing a hysterectomy, this can often times be done at the same time.
Dr. Rallison wants to remind women that just because you talk to your doctor, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have to have surgery. It’s about going through all of the available options and determining what’s best for you.
“Discuss is with your doctor. There are options, not just the surgery, but other things you can do prior to the surgery,” says Rita.