Summer Can be STRESSful, Especially for Women with STRESS Urinary Incontinence
More than eight million women suffer from stress urinary
incontinence (SUI), the involuntary loss of urine that occurs during sudden
movements such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising. Many people are
not aware of the prevalence of SUI because sufferers make every effort to hide
the embarrassing urine spills that can leak through skirts and pants. When
the warm weather season hits, it becomes increasingly difficult to conceal the
telltale signs of SUI: clothing is more revealing, colors are lighter and fabrics
are thinner. According to a multi-sponsor Gallup Survey of 1,270 women with
SUI conducted in March, 2002, 91% of women surveyed report changing their behavior
to cope with SUI. Three out of five women reported wearing "absorbent" clothes
and one in five women reported dressing in dark clothing.
Dr. Donnica Moore, M.D. advises women with SUI that summer doesn't have to
be stressful, because innovative treatments are available. "Many women think
they have to cope with the leaks season after season," says Dr. Moore, "but
instead of hiding SUI they can actually be treating it. After trying therapies
like Kegel exercises, women should consider a minimally-invasive "sling" procedure
that restores the body's ability to control urine loss." One such minimally
invasive surgical treatment option uses GYNECARE TVT* Tension-free Support
for Incontinence. This procedure takes as little as 30 minutes and many patients
can return home the same day. Evidence of effectiveness is seen immediately.
The GYNECARE TVT device uses a mesh sling to provide
support to the middle of the urethra, the section that is strained during physical
activities. This positioning of the device provides support only when needed
and creates a "tension-free" treatment solution that reduces the risk of over-correcting.
Long-term data show that four to six years after treatment, 85 percent of women
treated with GYNECARE TVT tension-free support remained dry and an additional
11 percent remained significantly improved.
To date, more than a half million women worldwide
have been treated with GYNECARE TVT tension-free support. As with any surgery
of this kind, the procedure should not be performed in pregnant patients or
patients who plan future pregnancies, since childbirth can negate the results
of the surgery. Although rare, complications associated with the device include
injury to blood vessels or nerves, difficulty urinating, and bladder and bowel
Women with SUI who don't seek treatment may find themselves
not enjoying summer to the fullest. Not only are summer-friendly fashions not
conducive to concealing leaks, but also many women are more active during the
summer time. Outdoor activities such as tennis or jogging are likely to lead
to urine leakage. For those with SUI and allergies -- a warm weather season
nightmare - each allergy-induced sneeze can cause another leak.
Many women don't learn about treatment options because
they are embarrassed to talk about the condition. A recent survey revealed
that some health conditions are so embarrassing that 28 percent of women surveyed
would keep them a secret even from their doctors. The same survey showed that
awareness of treatments can be an important motivator for women to talk to their
doctors: While 70 percent of women said they would "definitely" speak to
a doctor about SUI, 83 percent said they would if they knew treatment was available.
"I encourage women to overcome any embarrassment or stigma associated with
incontinence, and to talk to their doctors about treatment," says Dr. Moore.
"The only thing you have to lose is that shirt wrapped around your waist hiding
For more information on stress urinary incontinence, click here.
Created: 6/10/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.