NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Urinary incontinence is a condition that many women suffer silently with. It is more common than many people may realize, affecting one in four women of childbearing age.
It can take a lot for some women to seek medical help for the condition.
“Meaning it bothers them it’s prohibiting them from doing normal activities of daily living,” said Dr. Christine Lasala, chief of obstetrics at the Hospital of Central Connecticut.
Many women experience incontinence after having a baby, and it can get worse after having multiple children.
“The most common age group is women in their 40’s, but I have 30-year-olds, I have 92-year-olds,” Dr. Lasala said.
If the incontinence is what’s called ‘activity related’ there are non-surgical options.
One involves vaginal exercises, but Dr. Lasala says that isn’t always enough.
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She says there are also inserts similar to tampons that once inserted push against a woman’s urethra, making it narrower. That can help prevent urine leakage when women laugh, cough or sneeze.
“That’s an option. Most women don’t want to do that forever but they can do that to buy some time,” she said.
When women want to explore a more permanent solution Dr. Lasala says the most popular one is a small mesh sling. It is installed in a minimally invasive 30-minute outpatient procedure.
“It’s effective we have fabulous data on it we have long-term outcome data on it makes such a positive impact on a woman’s quality of life,” Dr. Lasala said.
She says there are other options that include lifestyle and behavioral modifications, prescription drugs and now also Botox, which has become a popular and effective option.
Dr. Lasala says botox injections can calm the bladder, last a few months and can be covered by insurance.