Non-Surgical Approaches to Treating SUI


By Leslie S. Wooldridge, GNP-BC, CUNP, BCB-PMD

Too often we look at getting a “quick fix” when we find out we have stress urinary incontinence.  Did you know there are multiple other ways to control stress incontinence versus having a surgical procedure done?

First of all, behavioral interventions are most important.  A bladder record for your provider would help in determining how often you are going to the bathroom, any leaking episodes, what you were doing when you leaked and how much and what you are drinking during the day.  Adjustments here would be the first step.  Normal voiding is 6-8 times per day and normal fluid intake is 6-8 cups per day.

Learning proper Kegel exercises are the main stay in helping to control SUI.  Make sure you are just squeezing the pelvic floor muscle and not moving your belly, butt or legs.  This is the right way to do these exercises.  Doing the “KNACK” is also quite helpful.   This is squeezing before you sneeze, cough or while you are laughing.

Pelvic floor therapy using biofeedback and electrical stimulation are also very helpful in training your pelvic floor muscles to improve your control.

Last, but not least, a pessary is sometimes a very important device that can control leaking by supporting the bladder neck during any type of stress maneuvers (coughing, laughing, sneezing or just getting up).  It also holds up that sagging bladder.  It is a silicone device that fits inside your vagina.  There are multiple types and sizes available.  With a good fit you should never even know you have it in.

This is National Bladder Health Week.  See your provider for these options.  The right diagnosis is the first step to proper treatment.

46_leslieLeslie Saltzstein Wooldridge, GNP-BC, CUNP, AGS-F, BCIA-PMBD is a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Director of the Mercy Health Partners Bladder Control Center, in Muskegon, Michigan and owner of Diversified Nurse Consulting, LTd.

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