The need to find other methods in treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) has become very vital with the unabated increase in the number of women seriously injured after undergoing vaginal mesh surgeries for the repair of this condition. This has led to the development of new alternatives and a resurgence of treatment methods that have lost favor from doctors, due to the emergence of surgical mesh devices.
Taking full advantage of conservative and non-invasive approaches, aside from encouraging preventive measures, is the main emphasis right now. A patient with SUI may avail of the following options:
Recognized by medical experts as an effective method in managing stress urinary incontinence (SUI), pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), along with lifestyle changes, has been considered as a first-line option for addressing this condition. Pelvic floor muscle training, which is also known as Kegel exercises, involves the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles and the urinary sphincter, components that control the flow of urine.
Significant improvements in their conditions, which may be as high as 70 percent, were reported by patients, based on results of numerous studies. Doctors and patients alike have favored this form of treatment since this method has no side effects, it is non-invasive, and no costs are involved.
Weighted Vaginal Cones
If performing pelvic floor muscle training may prove difficult for some women, weighted vaginal cones may be used instead. Studies involving 1484 women have shown that the use of weighted vaginal cones may have the same effectiveness as pelvic floor muscle training.
These weighted devices, which are shaped like cones and come in different sizes function by creating involuntary contractions to the pelvic floor muscles causing these muscles to be strengthened. Even without the assistance of a doctor, a patient may easily insert this device into the vagina, making it very advantageous to users.
Another method of treatment for urinary incontinence which also involves the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles is electrical stimulation. Already in existence in Europe and North America for the past three decades, this option has not gained much acceptance from medical practitioners. The need for multiple treatments, which may take several months before progress may be experienced, have been thought to be the main reason behind this.
Electrical stimulation works by sending mild electrical current to the nerves in the back or pelvic floor muscles, through the electrodes inserted into the vagina or rectum. It is believed that the stimulation may make the pelvic floor muscles contract, thereby creating an effect similar to PFMT.
Pelvic health specialists consider the vaginal pessary as an effective treatment option for SUI but are not widely used. According to the results of a recent study, satisfaction rate after one year of use was a high 76 percent. The low acceptance of these devices may be due to lack of knowledge and the discomfort perceived by patients.
Usually made of silicon, this device is inserted into the vaginal where it presses against the wall of the vagina and the urethra. The urethra is repositioned once pressure is exerted by the pessary resulting to reduced urine leakage or even the elimination of urinary incontinence.
Having found to be effective, inexpensive, with negligible side effects, and very simple to apply, patients with SUI have been encouraged to make the most of these conservative treatments. Women suffering from this common disorder may also greatly benefit by being spared the need for surgical interventions such as vaginal mesh surgeries, which have been alleged to cause severe complications.
These adverse effects have resulted to serious injuries to thousands of women, compelling them to file vaginal mesh lawsuits. Even at this point, claims continue to mount, with the latest coming from a woman who filed a vaginal mesh lawsuits against AMS for the severe injuries she sustained.