Urine leakage whenever I laughed or coughed. It seemed to be getting worse over time.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Age at diagnosis: 57
How did you learn about your diagnosis?
It had been happening for a while and at first I figured it was just a normal part of aging. Eventually it got bad enough that I had to talk to my doctor to see if I could do anything. He asked me to keep a voiding diary and we did some testing.
How did this condition impact your life?
I always had to wear bulky pads. Menopause should have meant I never had to wear another one. Instead I found myself needing to wear one constantly.
What treatment options did you explore?
Initially we started with Kegels and briefly talked about surgery as an option down the road. When I spoke with close friends about it, one told me her sister had a mini-sling and the recovery wasn’t too bad. I started considering surgery more seriously.
How did you make your decision?
Hearing from others helped me move forward with surgery on a faster timeline than I might otherwise have committed to it. My doctor had told me a mini-sling was an option, but I was holding out on surgery.
Please describe your surgical and recovery experience.
The procedure was extremely fast. I felt much better than I would have thought. Because of the incision needing to heal, I was told to abstain from sexual intercourse and lifting for 8 weeks, but I felt pretty normal immediately.
How has your life been with your chosen treatment?
No more pads! For the first while after surgery, I would cautiously wear pads if I knew I would be very active, but later realized there was no need. I don’t even think about it anymore.
What would you say to another woman experiencing your same type of symptoms or diagnosis?
Start doing Kegels regularly now and see if you can avoid the whole mess, but surgery is a great solution for the right person.
*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.