Treating bladder problems is one of the most satisfying areas of my work. Women with an overactive or leaking bladder have often been suffering in silence for years and are relieved to discover help is available.
There are two main types of bladder problems for women:
Urgency or urge incontinence
This is an overactive bladder and causes sudden urges to go to the toilet. One minute you are fine and the next you are “busting” and you may not make it to the toilet in time.
Urgency responds very well to pelvic floor physiotherapy and bladder retraining. For these, I work closely with Belinda Matthews, physiotherapist. Belinda also helps you monitor lifestyles issues impacting on bladder control such as water and caffeine intake and exercise.
Occasionally medication is required. Modern medications for bladder urgency are improving in both their effectiveness and side effects.
This is bladder leakage triggered by pressure on the abdomen. You might notice this if you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise.
Stress incontinence improves with pelvic floor physiotherapy. Sometimes it also needs surgery. “TVT” or “Sling” surgery involves a small tape implanted under the vaginal skin near the bladder. This tape supports the bladder neck and can stop the leakage. I use the Gynaecare TVT System which has published data showing long term effectiveness.
A leaking bladder is not normal, even after childbirth. If you have a problem with your bladder then see your GP. If a specialist review is advised then please call for an appointment.
Remember - all surgical procedures have risks. Your suitability for any operation should be discussed with your GP and specialist.