I want to let you in on a little-known therapy that can really help you with your bladder control issues. No medications to take with side effects. No surgery. Whether you leak with urgency (that “gotta-go” type) or stress (cough, exercise), or both, this is the place to start restoring urinary control. Even if you just have overactive bladder or get up too much at night, this therapy is great for you. You don’t hear about it as much since it is not offered very many places and there is no drug company to spend millions advertising it.
It is called Pelvic Floor Muscle Training. I tell patients that it is sort of like a personal trainer for your bladder. And it really does work. Of course, it’s not 100% effective for everyone, but most patients will get dry or almost dry with this therapy.
So, what it entails is coming in for therapy once a week or every other week for 4 – 8 sessions. My pelvic floor specialist will help you out. What she will do is gently place a small tampon-like probe in the vagina and a smaller one in the rectum. She will then assess your strength by having you do Kegel’s exercises. If you don’t know how to do them, then she will teach you. After that phase is over, she will take out the rectal probe, and move to stage two with the vaginal probe only.
The vaginal probe provides electrical stimulation which will boost muscle growth and reset the bladder nerves so that they will calm down. This takes about 8 – 15 minutes. The whole thing is about 40 minutes the first time and 20 minutes on follow-up. Throughout the session, my pelvic floor trainer will talk to you about other strategies to help you with your bladder control issues. Once, we found out during therapy that our patient that was drinking 6 Diet Cokes per day and once she stopped it, her bladder issues resolved.
Then, there is homework. She will write a plan for you to work on Kegel’s to get you in the habit of activating those muscles and strengthening them. The more consistent you are with the exercises, the better you will do.
This therapy has been proven effective in multiple studies. It is covered by most all insurance carriers and Medicare. In fact, oftentimes, the insurance company will require that this therapy be tried before moving on to advanced therapies. It works in two ways: strengthening the pelvic floor and resetting the bladder nerves.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy is particularly good to do postpartum. The muscles are so weak and stretched out after having a baby, that it will really help you get back to normal more quickly if you have a few sessions to strengthen the muscles again. That will prevent a lot of trouble down the line. Insurance will cover that as well.
Then, after the therapy is over, you continue the exercises and if you are interested we can set you up with a home therapy device that you can use yourself.
It’s a great way to get the pelvic floor toned up with great bladder control!
Have a wonderful day,