Pelvic Floor/Bladder Training Exercises
At Somerset Urology Associates our continence advisers and physiotherapists are particularly experienced at teaching pelvic floor exercises and bladder training techniques to strengthen muscles that have become weak due to damage and ageing.
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are proven to improve stress or mixed urinary incontinence in women by two-thirds.
Being pregnant and giving birth can weaken the muscles that control the flow of urine from your bladder. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help prevent urinary incontinence later in life.
If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles, you will be taught certain exercises involving muscle contractions to do at least three times a day for at least three months. If the exercises work for you they can be continued indefinitely. Read more…
Electrical stimulation and Monitoring
We can monitor electronically the effectiveness of the way you exercise the pelvic floor muscles with ‘biofeedback’ – an apparatus that senses when the muscles are squeezed and feeds information to a computer screen.
If you can’t contract your pelvic floor muscles, Somerset Urology Associates can assist with a device that stimulates them with electrical signals.
Somerset Urology Associates can provide and monitor the use of vaginal cones, small weights that are inserted into the vagina to assist with pelvic floor muscle training. The patient simply places the small plastic cone within her vagina, twice a day for fifteen to twenty minutes, while standing or walking around whilst she carries on with everyday occupations. The vaginal cone is held in place by a mild reflex contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Over two to three weeks, the muscles get stronger and increasingly heavier cones can be used. After eight to twelve weeks of use, light to medium stress incontinence is usually resolved.
If you want to try using vaginal cones, speak to our specialist.
Urge incontinence often responds well to bladder training, which requires at least six weeks and involves learning techniques to increase the length of time between feeling the need to urinate and passing urine.
Bladder training may also be combined with pelvic floor muscle training for stress or mixed urinary incontinence.
Vaginal inserts and pessaries are available to treat bladder and pelvic support problems. These are devices inserted into the vagina to help support the uterus, bladder, urethra and rectum. A number of types are obtainable from Somerset Urology Associates, and will be tailored to fit your body.
Surgery to restore the normal position of the bladder neck and urethra may be a last resort, and many surgical options are successful.
There are two main types of operations for incontinence in women: bladder neck suspension procedures and sling procedures. Both have a cure rate of more than 84%.
Contact Somerset Urology Associates to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our specialists, who will advise you on the best treatment or surgical procedure for you. Together, we can solve your incontinence problem.