Stress Urinary Incontinence Frequently Asked Questions

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of voluntary control over your urinary functions. This condition affects over 13 million Americans, 85% of which are female.

Can urinary incontinence be successfully treated?

Yes. While incontinence may be a normal aspect of aging, it generally can be treated.

What causes female stress incontinence?

Female stress incontinence can slowly develop as you age and may be the result of a specific event such as childbirth. It generally occurs when your pelvic muscles are not strong enough to keep the opening from the bladder neck closed when you’re under physical stress, which includes laughing, coughing, lifting, exercising, or increasing abdominal pressure in any other way.

What are the treatment options for stress urinary incontinence?

Today there are multiple treatment options available for patients, including a surgical sling procedure. Your doctor can discuss these treatment options with you.

What is a sling procedure?

A sling procedure is a minimally invasive surgical option that uses a simple hammock or U-shaped mesh sling to correct stress incontinence by supporting your urethra to keep it in its correct position.

Can I become incontinent again after having a sling procedure?

It is possible to again become incontinent following a sling procedure. Future pregnancies following a sling procedure may negate the effects of your surgery and you may once again become incontinent.

How long does it take to recover from a sling procedure?

Every patient’s recovery time is different following surgery. During your recovery, it is important to avoid heavy lifting and sexual intercourse for six weeks or as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more specific details about your individual recovery process.

What are the risks associated with a sling procedure?

Every surgery carries some level of risk. You may experience some trouble with urination following the procedure, from a slow flow to not being able to urinate, or you may feel you have to go more often. You may have a reaction to the sling material itself or an infection which may require full or partial sling removal. Ask your doctor for more information about potential risks and complications, as well as your specific surgery and situation.

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