It is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 women lives with some degree of stress urinary incontinence. If you accidentally leak urine when you a cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise, you are one of them. Stress urinary incontinence is not a new condition; women throughout the ages have struggled with it. The problem is, the global conversation about incontinence conditions remains very hush-hush.
We can understand why you may want to keep your business to yourself. At the same time, we also want you to know that there is value in speaking to your Chattanooga urologist about stress urinary incontinence. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to improve your life. We’re talking about Kegels, a type of exercise you may have heard of, but know very little about.
Kegels have Value – and a Caveat
Research has demonstrated that Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises, can be very beneficial to a woman’s vaginal health, as well as her intimate health. This is good news! The bad news is that research also confirms that only half of the women who engage in pelvic floor exercise do it right. Yes, that’s the caveat. Kegels can do a lot to improve bladder control, not to mention sexual sensation and vaginal dryness; but you have to know the proper technique.
Kegels get a Little Help
Biofeedback was an integral aspect of Kegels back in the early days of development. Patients of Dr. Arnold Kegel were measured for muscle strength before they began their Kegel practice. Then, they would return to the office for follow-up diagnostics. This would help Dr. Kegel determine proper performance, or recommend modifications in technique. During that time, biofeedback was obtained with a device called a perineometer. Later, EMG, or electromyography, was used to measure the success of pelvic floor exercise.
Today, biofeedback may be conducted in a few different ways. Some urologists perform an in-office assessment of pelvic floor muscles before commencing with Kegels, and will often work with specialized physical therapists to continue therapy much in the same way Dr. Kegel himself did. Another method involves the use of a convenient biofeedback device used at home on a daily basis. Some devices assess periodically, where others provide a continuous measurement of strength as it improves.
There is much to gain by strengthening the muscles across the pelvic floor. To learn more about urinary incontinence, Kegels, biofeedback, and other treatment options, call UT Urology in Chattanooga.