Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options
How confident are you in your bladder? Do you struggle a little, or a lot, with urinary incontinence? Do you have urinary leaks when you cough, laugh, or sneeze, or do you have a strong and sudden urgency when you feel the need to use the bathroom?
Both men and women often suffer in silence from bladder control issues. Learn more about the various types of incontinence. But regardless of your condition, the fear is the same: you find that you always need to know where the nearest bathroom is when you go out. You can’t do many of the activities you used to enjoy because you may leak urine when you do them. You are afraid you may literally pee your pants if you laugh too hard.
So what are your options for dealing with urinary incontinence?
Option 1: Don’t do anything.
If you have an accident, you have to change your clothes. You take extra clothes with you everywhere you go. Perhaps you have to buy and wear pads daily. On top of the fact that urine can be very abrasive on the skin if left in contact on your skin, you may worry about odors and whether or not your protective pad leaks.
Option 2: Conventional medicine solutions
Conventional medicine offers a number of remedies that have been around for decades. But just because they’ve been around for ages, does that mean they are better or more effective?
Stronger kegel muscles support the uterus, intestines, bladder, and rectum. On the plus side, you can do them anywhere, anytime. However, these pelvic floor muscles require regular exercising in order to be effective, and most people are not always disciplined enough to keep it up.
Most work by relaxing the bladder muscle, reducing spasms that can cause urgency and leakage. Many have side effects like dry mouth, constipation, dry skin, dry eyes, and upset stomach.
Botox injection into the bladder.
With this treatment option, a surgeon uses a small telescope called a cystoscope to look inside the bladder and inject 100 – 300 units of Botox into the bladder wall. It lasts anywhere between 3–9 months.
For women: pessary in the vagina
A pessary is a prosthetic device that is inserted into the vagina to support its internal structure. Its purpose is to hold up the prolapsed bladder or uterus.
For women: Tampon-like plugs inserted into the vagina.
Once inserted, the support expands to lift and support the urethra (the small tube that conveys urine out of the bladder), helping to stop leaks from stresses such as coughing, sneezing or exercising.
Sling procedures and bladder neck suspension procedures exist to support the urethra. Several weeks recovery time, higher risk of complications than non-invasive alternatives. Plan for 6-8 weeks downtime, pain from surgery, follow up visits for recovery.
These solutions may not always offer immediate relief and in some cases have serious side effects or require extended recovery.
Option 3: Newer Technology for Treating Incontinence
Emsella Chair for Incontinence
I am excited that now in my Laguna Beach office there is the Emsella chair, an FDA-cleared High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic technology that causes deep pelvic floor muscle stimulation and restoration of neuromuscular control to improve quality of life for patients with multiple forms of incontinence.
Innovo for Incontinence: Home Treatment
The Innovo Home Device stimulates muscles to contract, about 180 kegels in 30 minutes. The Innovo website suggests 60 minute treatments for 12 weeks. Researchers are finding that 87% of users of the Innovo saw an improvement after 12 weeks.
- Innovo 180 kegels in 30 minutes, vs. Emsella 11,200 kegels
- Innovo 60 minute sessions, vs. Emsella 28 minutes
- Innovo takes 12 weeks for results, vs. Emsella 3 weeks
- Innovo has an 87% satisfaction rate, vs. Emsella 95%
- Innovo has wires, special shorts, and a device you need to wear around your neck, vs. Emsella chair you simply sit in, fully clothed.
As you can see when comparing the Emsella Chair to the Innovo, the Innovo pales next to the commercial grade Emsella chair. 11,200 kegels in 28 minutes, 6 treatments in 3 weeks. 95% success rate. When compared to the effort and poor output of 180 kegels in 30 minutes for 12 weeks, and a lower percentage of success cases, there really is no comparison.
When it comes to the Emsella vs. Innovo debate, it's like driving a Maserati versus riding a motorized bicycle. Both may get you where you want to be, but one will do it much better, faster.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, it’s clear that Emsella is a simple, non-invasive, non-embarrassing way to treat varying degrees of incontinence. Talk to your doctor and learn more about whether Emsella is right for you.
You may be wondering, is it worth $3,000 to have a better quality of life? For many, it’s worth every penny.
How much is it worth it to you?
More about your Pelvic Floor: credit National Association for Continence