Understanding Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
If you have experienced embarrassment following involuntary urine loss, perhaps during coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercise, you are not alone. This condition known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) affects millions of women and is most common after the childbearing years. Although the reasons are varied, SUI often occurs as a result of weakened support from the pelvic diaphragm and a weakening urethra. The good news is, help is available.
What are the risk factors?
• Childbirth: Pregnancy and childbirth tend to flatten, stretch and weaken muscles in the pelvic floor. This lack of support can lead to urine leakage.
• Menopause: Because the ovaries stop producing estrogen during menopause, this hormone deficiency can lead to a thinner urethra lining and weakened sphincter and bladder muscles.
• Urinary tract infections can lead to SUI
• Illnesses that results in excessive coughing or sneezing
• Smoking that causes excessive coughing
• Diabetes can cause excess urine production and nerve damage
• Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption can trigger SUI
• Medications that promote urine production
• Certain athletic activities that put pressure on the bladder
While SUI is a troubling condition that can interrupt daily activities, there are medical solutions. According to Dr. David Ghozland, a Los Angeles-area OB/GYN, many of his patients who suffer from urinary stress incontinence are finding relief through minimally invasive surgery.
“We use a FDA-approved, breakthrough procedure to help relieve symptoms of urinary stress incontinence without the risks of traditional surgery,” he explains. “Thanks to the use of a fractional CO2 laser, the procedure can be done in as little as 30 minutes and offers a quick recovery time and minimal discomfort.”
Dr. Ghozland notes that his patients are able to resume normal activities within a couple of days following their minimally invasive procedure, and many go back to work the next day. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or light sedation in an outpatient setting.
For the millions of women who are suffering silently with symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a GYN who can identify the cause of your SUI. Once you have the facts, you can find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.