Theres Hope - Treatments for Bladder and Pelvic Floor Issues - Large

Bladder leakage? Pelvic organ slippage? Take heart — you’re not alone, and treatment is available to improve your life. Start by talking with your doctor. Treatments vary widely, and will depend on your condition, its severity, the underlying cause and your general health.

Non-surgical Treatment

Many women successfully manage their symptoms without surgery. You’ll find a variety of approaches to urinary incontinence or pelvic prolapse. Chances are that one, or a combination of options, will be right for you.

With pelvic prolapse, one or more of the pelvic organs, like the bladder or uterus, bulges into or even out of the vagina. You'll find many treatment options for pelvic floor prolapse. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon William Rush, MD, OB/GYN, Lifestages Samaritan Centers for Women, talks about treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse.

Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Some women may experience leaking urine, while others experience strong, sudden urges to urinate. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon Jerome Yaklic, MD, OB/GYN, Wright State Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology, discusses treatment options for women experiencing urinary incontinence.

Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Many women have a minor degree of incontinence or prolapse, and can effectively manage their symptoms using one or more of these approaches:

  • Medication: Low-dose topical estrogen treats urinary incontinence by rejuvenating tissue in the vaginal and urethral area. Your physician may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants or antihistamines to relieve pain and other symptoms.
  • Nutrition counseling: What you eat and drink can influence your symptoms. Avoid irritants like coffee, tea, citrus and carbonated beverages.
  • Bladder retraining: Urinating at regularly scheduled times may help you manage or overcome incontinence.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can instruct you in techniques like Kegel exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. They’re easy to do discreetly wherever you are.
  • Pessary: A pessary is a silicone support device that your doctor will insert into your vagina to support pelvic organs. If a pessary is right for you, it can be an ideal alternative to surgery.

Surgical Treatment

While many women can be treated successfully with non-surgical alternatives, sometimes surgery is the best option, especially if you have extreme discomfort, or your condition is interfering with your daily life. Based on your age, previous surgical history, severity of your prolapse and your overall health, your surgeon may recommend one of several procedures. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and no single best approach for all patients.

  • Reconstructive surgery: Restores your pelvic organs to their natural position while retaining sexual function. Options include a vaginal or abdominal approach, as well as laparoscopic and robotic.
  • Vaginal closure: Can be the best choice if you have a severe prolapse, and are no longer sexually active. The vagina walls are stitched together to prevent a prolapse. Success rates are high – 90 to 95% – and recovery time is quick.
Many women successfully manage their symptoms without surgery.

Talk with Your Doctor

The key to improving your quality of life is seeking help from your doctor. If you can get past the embarrassment of talking about your urinary incontinence or pelvic organ slippage, you can regain your freedom and start enjoying life more fully again.