Martha

Symptoms:

Urine leakage when I would go from sitting to standing or standing to sitting. Occasional leakage with coughing or sneezing.

Diagnosis:

Stress Urinary Incontinence – Hyper-mobility and Intrinsic Sphincter Deficiency

Age at diagnosis: 37
suzanne-stress-urinary-incontinence

How did you learn about your diagnosis?

The leakage was obvious, but it wasn’t until some testing with my urologist that I was fully diagnosed. He was sure to check not just the severity of incontinence, but what was causing it. In my case, there was no longer support for my urethra and it was not closing to hold back urine from leaking.

How did this condition impact your life?

I was so conscious about every movement. Dreading each time I would go somewhere or do anything. It is tiring to have to think so hard about it. I also constantly needed to use pads, starting with a liner and eventually needing full pads.

What treatment options did you explore?

We talked about a number of different sling options as a first step, but also discussed bulking agents as a possibility to treat the ISD.

How did you make your decision?

While there are different ways to place slings, because I had both hyper-mobility and ISD, my doctor recommended a retro-pubic sling since it had the potential to help with both symptoms. There was still a chance we would need to use a bulking agent to strengthen the tissue around my urethra and get me close to 100% dry.

Please describe your surgical and recovery experience.

My doctor let me know about all the risks before the surgery, and what to expect afterwards. The two incisions on my bikini line were small and not too bothersome. There was some pain after surgery, but after a couple of days and rest I was feeling better.

How has your life been with your chosen treatment?

After surgery, I still wasn’t completely dry – much better, but not all the way. After my body was fully healed from the surgery, I went to my doctor for a bulking agent which could be done in his office. It was a quick 15-minute procedure. I felt a small prick while he injected the numbing agent, but afterwards it was fine. The best part was that I didn’t have any activity restrictions that day. I just got back to my life. With the urethral bulking, I was completely dry. I could do what I wanted without worrying or even thinking about leaking.

What would you say to another woman experiencing your same type of symptoms or diagnosis?

Find a specialist. What treatment you get – sling or something else – and even how they put the sling in depends on a proper diagnosis.

*This story is fictional and the information presented is only intended to represent common experiences of women receiving treatment for POP or SUI. It should be used for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. We strongly encourage you to discuss all health matters and concerns with your physician before beginning, stopping or changing any treatment strategies.