If strengthening your pelvic floor with regular exercises hasn’t done the trick (and often it doesn’t) then it could mean you have to resort to surgery for Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). But there is an intermediate option. Doctors have developed a new treatment that uses injections to offer a less invasive treatment that only involves day surgery and a local anaesthetic.
“SUI is a silent epidemic that women are really scared to come forward and talk about,” explains Mr Steve Foley, lead urologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, a pioneer of the treatment. “Injection therapy is a quick and simple procedure to rectify the problem.”
Steve adds that 90% of his patients are treated on the NHS and for women with mild to moderate SUI, the success rate is excellent.
How do the injections stop incontinence?
Injection therapy is the injection of a gel called Deflux around the urethra to act as a bulking agent. A number of small injections into the wall of the urethra close the neck of the bladder, helping the muscles to effectively prevent leakages.
Who can use injections to prevent incontinence?
Deflux injections are recommended to treat SUI in women of childbearing age and can even be used if previous surgery has failed.
They’re not the first option, as pelvic floor exercises can work in many cases. But if you’re still having trouble, the Bladder and Bowel Foundation has urged women to tell their doctor about symptoms, as there more options available than you might think.
“Bladder weakness is one of the last taboo topics,” explains Dr Ellie Cannon. “It’s such a common condition but a lot of women feel a real sense of shame. We need to do all we can to change this, so that more women feel they can ask their GP for help.”