Stress urinary incontinence is a common problem.
Do you suffer urinary leakage with coughing, sneezing, jumping, jogging? Do you need to wear a pad or liner daily just in case? Do urinary accidents stop you from participating in sports or joining in certain activities? Scared of jumping on a trampoline? Can’t do aerobics? Has your body changed since giving birth and you can no longer hold your bladder without leakage?
Particular risk factors of stress urinary incontinence include:
- female gender
- older age but can begin in 30s and 40s
- post birth/vaginal, caesarean/traumatic, forceps, interventional births/multiple births
- post menopause
Treatment options for stress urinary incontinence include pelvic floor exercises, bladder training exercises, working with a women’s health physiotherapist, seeing your GP to check for UTI/underlying illness and for medications, or in severe cases seeing a urological or gynaecological surgeon for surgical management.
But over the past few years, a new treatment for stress urinary incontinence has emerged…
FEMTOUCH vaginal laser treatment.
Femtouch was initially developed to treat vaginal atrophy (thinning of the vaginal lining post-menopause that causes pain, dryness and discomfort).
In studies following up women who had this procedure, it was found that not only did their vaginal symptoms improve, but they reported great improvements to their urinary incontinence. Further research focusing particularly on urinary incontinence treatment with vaginal CO2 laser has shown promising results.
A study of 161 women with 3 year follow up, published this year, showed vaginal CO2 laser treatment (4 x monthly treatments, then yearly maintenance single treatment) was associated with a significant improvement in ICIQ-UI SF (incontinence rating scale) scores and 1 hour pad weight test at 12 months (both p < 0.001), 24 months (both p < 0.001) and 36 months (both p < 0.001).
Improvements were maintained for up to 36 months without the need for any further intervention. The results were confirmed by significant histological changes related to trophic restoration of the vagina, responsible for extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms involved in urinary continence1.
Here at Geelong Veins, Skin and Laser we have been offering FEMTOUCH vaginal laser treatment since 2017 and have found our patient’s stress urinary incontinence responds well to this treatment.
To find out more you can book a comprehensive initial appointment with GP Dr Barbra Ward to discuss your symptoms and for an examination. Any relevant tests can also be arranged via this appointment. All your questions will be answered and detailed information will be provided about the procedure.
If there are issues that mean you are not a suitable candidate for this treatment or you have a diagnosis that requires further specialist treatment, you can then be referred on in this appointment or directed back to your own regular GP if preferred.
1 Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Feb;29(2):211-215. doi: 10.1007/s00192-017-3352-1. Epub 2017 May 18.
Long-term effect of thermoablative fractional CO2 laser treatment as a novel approach to urinary incontinence management in women with genitourinary syndrome of menopause.
González Isaza P1, Jaguszewska K2,3, Cardona JL4, Lukaszuk M5.