Let’s dispel a cliché: urinary incontinence is not a natural occurrence that we have to resign ourselves to
We’re at the gym, jogging or a bike workout, loading groceries into the car, picking up a child, a cough, a little more laughter and there’s that drop of urine we can’t hold back.
We are active, dynamic women who do not want to give up our daily activities, social and sexual life.
So we pretend nothing happened, we wear a panty liner, then a menstrual pad, our frustration increases, we resign ourselves.
Today, urinary incontinence is a significant health problem worldwide, with a social and economic impact on women and society and severely affecting quality of life: daily activities, emotional state, social relationships, sexual activity.
In Italy there are about five million people suffering from incontinence, more than half of whom are women, with an average of 1 in 3 over the age of 40.
In fact, it seems that urinary incontinence peaks between the ages of 45 and 59; it is therefore not just a disease of old age. And, fortunately, there are remedies to counteract it.
We talk about it with Dr. Maurizio Filippini, gynaecologist, Head of the Functional Module of Gynaecological Endoscopy at the ISS of the Republic of San Marino
Why is it that, despite being a problem that affects a large number of women, little is said about urinary incontinence?
Until recently, women had no perception of the problem. Most regarded urinary incontinence as a para-physiological situation, it was experienced almost as a condition of old age or as a post-natal symptom.
It can often happen after childbirth, but mostly resolves itself after a while. The vast majority of women, on the other hand, begin to leak urine between 40 and 50, still young, with an intense social life and sexually active.
And it is clear how embarrassing and debilitating it is for them and how much it can also affect them psychologically.
From my experience, I have noticed that they struggle to expose the problem spontaneously, almost as if there were some kind of taboo.
However, when asked directly, they always answer truthfully and report the problem and show a desire to solve this disabling symptom that leads to a very difficult relationship life.
What are the traditional treatment options for improving urinary incontinence?
To date, traditional techniques for improving urinary incontinence mainly involved physiotherapy-type devices. Kegel exercises, the kinesiotherapy invented by Dr. Kegel, allow the physiatrist or physiotherapist to perform contraction and relaxation movements in order to train the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen all the muscles under the urethral plate and thus encourage less urine leakage.
In addition to these traditional physical exercises, there are also other methods, such as the use of vaginal cones. A cone is inserted into the vagina and, naturally, the muscles of the vagina are trained to hold the weight and this training strengthens the muscles of the perineum.
Another type of traditional technique is the so-called external electrostimulation. Electrodes are applied at the level of the perineum that help an electrical contraction, hence a motor neuron response, and here again it is a question of training the muscles to be able to retain urine.
Today we have available the new magnetic field device Dr. Arnold from DEKA DEKA
What is Dr. Arnold and what is its principle of action?
Dr. Arnold is a non-invasive medical device that uses magnetic energy to create fields that impact the entire perineal tissue.
It creates an electromagnetic field that allows the muscle to contract, but with a much more effective contraction than is done manually by a physiotherapist or electrostimulation, because it can reach a high intensity that is usually difficult to achieve with voluntary contraction.
And this is how it is able to intervene on mild prolapses and urinary incontinence.
The treatment is non-invasive, has no side effects, the patient will only feel muscle fatigue, as after high physical activity, and is absolutely comfortable. It involves the patient remaining dressed and sitting in the chair.
…continues with the next appointment.