Bladder control can affect women of all ages. As women age, up to half will develop issues with bladder control affecting their lifestyle. Symptoms can include frequent need to urinate, loss of urine with activity, or excessive bedtime urination. The most common cause of bladder control problems is child-birth. Prolonged labor, delivery of a large baby, or multiple deliveries, can result in damage and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles resulting in symptoms. Athletes, especially runners, gymnasts, and weight lifters can have bladder control issues even without having had children. Awareness that leaking is not normal can result in treatments to improve control.
Finding the Right Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
Usual treatment for urgency and frequency is medication. Several medications are now available to control these symptoms. In the right patient, meds typically work well and can be safely used long-term.
For stress incontinence, which is the undesired loss of urine with activity, there are multiple treatments. The goal of treatment is to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor to better support the bladder and urethra. Treatments can include Kegel exercises, Mona Lisa treatments, the O-shot, and surgical options.
Innovative Treatment Recommendations
Kegel exercises are done to strengthen the pelvic floor. This is very effective if done correctly and can result in complete improvement in bladder control. To improve the Kegel exercises, I recommend the Intone™ device. This device uses electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles to contract resulting in all the pelvic floor muscles regaining tone. In addition to bladder control, sexual function may also improve.
Mona Lisa is a laser treatment of the vagina. The laser energy stimulates the growth of collagen in the vagina. This collagen improves the thickness and tone of the vaginal tissue resulting in better support for the urethra and increased moisture. Results for the Mona Lisa treatments have been very good for mild to moderate urine loss.
My latest treatment for urine loss is the O-Shot. The O-Shot uses the platelet rich plasma from your blood to stimulate the growth of collagen around the urethra. This procedure is painless and can last several years. The O-Shot is effective for mild to moderate incontinence. Additional benefits include increased vaginal moisture and easier orgasm.
Surgery is the gold standard treatment for moderate to severe urinary incontinence. Use of the bladder sling as well as correction of vaginal prolapse results in excellent treatment of urine loss and pelvic discomfort.
Connect with Dr. Syal
Visit my website at, Woodlands OBGYN Associates for additional information on all these treatment options. To discuss your options please call the office for an appointment at 281.364.9898.
Raj K. Syal, MD