Light Bladder Leaks or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a common problem that many women face on a daily basis. It’s the occasional leak that occurs when stress is put on the urinary tract, when laughing, coughing, sneezing or during activities such as jogging or jumping or just playing around. Ultimately what causes SUI is the weakening of the muscles that regulate urine flow. The weakening of these muscles can be caused by a collection of reasons, from vaginal birth to being overweight and aging. Another cause of weakened pelvic floor muscles can be from surgery near the pelvic floor, which may cause some women to experience leaks even after recovery time.
Surgeries that involve or interfere with the pelvic floor muscles can weaken them. The most common surgery that women get that could affect these muscles is a hysterectomy. This procedure removes the womb and in some cases the ovaries and fallopian tubes or other tissues. There are two main types of hysterectomies that women get:
Total Hysterectomy: This is the removal of the entire uterus including the cervix. Some women get a Supracervical Hysterectomy which keeps the cervix in place.
Radical Hysterectomy: In this procedure, the entirety of the uterus is removed with the cervix as well as surrounding tissue. This is typically used to remove cancerous cells.
Why would someone get a hysterectomy? Often times the procedure is performed out of necessity to improve a woman’s quality of life. A hysterectomy may be an option for women if they are suffering from:
These conditions and problems may be very painful and can affect day-to-day life, which is why some women and their doctors choose hysterectomies as the best option. Unfortunately, these procedures may lead to light bladder leaks (Stress Urinary Incontinence or SUI).
Effects on Bathroom Habits
After surgery, some women may notice changes in their bathroom habits. The removal of the uterus may cause your pelvic floor muscles to weaken, and in turn cause light bladder leaks. This is probably more likely to happen with women who have had a Radical Hysterectomy. This is because more of the tissue surrounding the uterus is taken out, further weakening the pelvic floor muscles. Women may also find that they may experience urge incontinence after their surgery due to the change in the musculature of the pelvic floor muscles. Urge incontinence differs from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in that it is associated with the inability to suppress the urge to urinate. Urge Incontinence is NOT caused by pressure on the urinary tract. It’s important to identify what kind of leaks are happening – do they happen because you can’t control the urge, or is it because you coughed, laughed or sneezed? Knowing and understanding the difference between these accidents can help you and your doctor narrow down solutions to improve your daily life.
For women that are suffering from light bladder leaks, Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) after surgery, there are options out there to help stop or reduce leaks. Some women turn to disposable pads and liners to help absorb leaks and protect clothing, much like sanitary napkins. While disposable options work short-term, they simply absorb urine. This can lead to embarrassing odors and the possibility of rash or infection if worn too long. Kegels are pelvic floor exercises that may help your body regain the muscles lost after surgery and help stop light bladder leaks. Like any other workout, it may take weeks or months to yield results meaning that Kegels may work in the long term, but will not stop leaks immediately after performing them. Another option is pelvic mesh surgery, to help support the bladder and urethra and stop leaks. This option may be costly and could lead to further medical complications. Talk with your doctor to see what would work best, and to make sure that your light bladder leaks isn’t something bigger or more serious.
Revive Reusable Bladder Support is a breakthrough drug free, latex free, FDA-cleared device clinically proven to treat light bladder leaks-Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). This revolutionary NEW product is a urethral support designed to reduce leakage for up to 12 hours a day. It is a one-size-fits-most device that can be safely inserted at home without a prescription and can be found at local retailers. Safe and comfortable to wear for 12 hours, Revive helps prevent leaks all day long.