Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing problem caused by weakened or damaged pelvic floor and urethral muscles.
There are four types of urinary incontinence that affect most women. These include:
- Stress urinary incontinence. This occurs when you unintentionally leak urine when coughing, exercising, laughing, or sneezing.
- Urge incontinence. This is when the urge to urinate is so sudden that you leak urine from not getting to the bathroom in time.
- Mixed incontinence. This is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence. This happens when your bladder does not empty completely. Usually this is caused by a blockage in the urethra or dysfunctional nerves. Both of which can prevent the flow of urine.
In most cases, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatments (e.g., pelvic floor therapy, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, medication) or procedures (e.g., urethral sling) can ease your discomfort.
When getting a urethral sling, such as Gynecare TVT, a sling is placed around your urethra. This lifts the urethra into a normal position. It also exerts pressure to aid in urine retention. The sling is then secured to your abdominal wall.
This procedure is done as an outpatient and in most cases patients return home 2-3 hours after procedure.