Over 19 million women in the United States are affected by some form of urinary incontinence which is the involuntary leakage of urine. There are three different types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence is when there is exerted pressure on the bladder causing leakage. This can be caused by coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising
- Urge incontinence is the sudden, intense urge to urinate frequently
- Mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence
Incontinence is often a result of vaginal childbirth, hysterectomy and/or menopause which can weaken the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. Strong pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bladder. Weakened pelvic floor muscles mean your internal organs are not fully supported and you may have difficulty controlling the release of urine. Urinary incontinence can have dramatic effects on quality of life. Women often report having to give up exercise and having a decrease in self-confidence and intimacy because of incontinence.
Although incontinence is extremely common, 5 out of 10 women do not seek help. Some treatments for urinary leakage include:
- Losing weight if overweight or obese
- Avoiding certain foods & drinks (alcohol, caffeine, foods high in acid)
- Kegel exercises to strengthen bladder muscles
- Scheduled toilet trips
- Limiting the intake of fluids at night before bedtime
- Use of support pessaries – medical devices made from silicone that are placed in the vagina to support the pelvic floor, and the bladder, uterus and rectum
- Eating more fiber to prevent constipation
- Topical vaginal estrogen to treat post-menopausal vaginal atrophy.
- Surgery for placement of a bladder sling or mesh
Surgery is the last resort for most women. Placement of bladder mesh or sling is invasive and carries a risk like any surgery related to anesthesia and infection. Most women are aware that Kegel exercises can be beneficial for incontinence, but many women do not know how to perform Kegel exercises effectively. It is difficult to find a women’s health physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor strengthening and even more difficult for patients to continue exercises efficiently at home.
Now there is an effective, non-surgical way to treat urinary incontinence and strengthen the pelvic floor with no down time. EMSELLA is FDA approved for the treatment of urinary incontinence. EMSELLA uses electromagnetic energy to deliver over 11,000 supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contractions in a single 28-minute session. These contractions strengthen and re-educate the muscles of incontinent patients. A recent clinical study demonstrated that 95% of patients treated reported satisfaction and significant improvement in their quality of life following six treatments with EMSELLA. Additionally, 67% of treated patients eliminated or decreased the use of hygienic pads in day-to-day life. As an added benefit, increased blood flow to the pelvic region may also improve other areas of sexual health.
EMSELLA is safe and easy to use. Contraindications include metal implants anywhere in the body, specifically in the treatment area (from chest to pelvis). Patients stay fully clothed while sitting comfortably for treatments. Six sessions are recommended over the course of 3 weeks with results beginning almost immediately and continuing to improve over 3 months. Alpine Health & Wellness in Kalispell, MT is excited to now offer EMSELLA for the treatment of urinary incontinence. Visit our website today at myalpinehealth.com for more information and to schedule a free consult. Complimentary demos provided upon request!