Thursday, May 26, 2022

Continence Issues are Real!

 Incontinence and continence problems are common even for the younger generation!

Do you know that:


One in three women who have had a baby experience loss of bladder control.

One in 100 adults never achieve bladder control at night.

One in 20 adults experience bladder and bowel control problems.


Continence issues are not inevitable. In this article, I would like to discuss about stress incontinence. In particular, stress incontinence is mainly caused by weak pelvic floor muscles. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — for example coughing, laughing, sneezing, running, having sex or heavy lifting — puts pressure on the bladder, causing urine to leak unintentionally.


Other risk factors include:


Older Age causing weaker pelvic floor muscles.


Previous vaginal delivery, forceps delivery and pelvic surgery may damage pelvic floor muscles.


Excessive body weight putting pressure onto the bladder which overcomes the strength of pelvic floor muscles.


Therefore, toning up pelvic floor muscles is essential for good bladder and bowel control. It is also important for a more satisfying sex life too.


Firstly, start with good toilet habits:


  • Head to the washroom only when there in an urge and don’t go ‘just in case’

  • Take time to completely empty the bladder and bowel

  • Not delaying toilet trip when the urge comes

  • Use the correct posture on the toilet to pass motion (place your elbows on your knees, bulge out your stomach, straighten your spine and put your feet on a footstool if possible


Other tips include:


  • Shed the extra weight.

  • Add fiber to the diet.

  • Avoid foods and beverages that can irritate the  bladder such as chocolate, coffee, tea or carbonated beverages

  • Stop smoking


Traditionally, we refer our patients with continence issues to learn Kegel exercises which trains and strengthens pelvic floor muscles. However, it is not easy to teach and learn the correct technique as it involves contracting muscles in the private parts.

With the advent of technology, it is now possible to use Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) to perform Kegel exercise!


TensCare is a trusted brand which produces Kegel trainers using EMS. TensCare received one of the most prestigious awards in the UK last year- Queen’s Award. TensCare is a British brand with nearly 3 decades experience in electrotherapy, including pain relief treatment and muscle rehabilitation. Good news to share that TensCare Alivia Kegel Trainer has been awarded ‘Parent’s choice award 2022’ as the best kegel exerciser in Malaysia.

   

TensCare Kegel Trainers are safe and more effective than traditional kegel exercises. Many hospitals and pharmacies in the UK have adopted TensCare Kegel Trainers for postpartum recovery as well. Rest assured the devices are MDR (Medical Device Regulation May 2021) Certified.

There are two main types of TensCare Kegel exercisers— Alivia and Kegel Toner. Despite both using the same EMS technology, Kegel Toner is an entry-level kegel trainer with 2 simple yet effective programmes for beginners. It is suitable for women who want to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and improve sensation. For those who are already experiencing continence issues, Alivia is the treatment of choice as it is specifically  designed for postpartum recovery.

Kegel Toner trains the pelvic floor muscles by using electrical stimulation to squeeze and relax them. The incontinence treatment it provides consists of two programs – the workout (Exercise) and the aftercare (Tone), both of which send gentle yet effective stimulation via a vaginal probe, making the inner muscles contract.


The machine has fine-tune adjustment settings for different levels of intensity to ensure the exercise is comfortable. It also comes with safety duration override. The unit will turn off after 20 minutes to ensure the pelvic floor muscle is not overworked. 20 minutes a day for 6 days a week for the duration of 12 weeks is the recommended period to achieve the optimal result.

This is what I personally think about TensCare Kegel Toner. Pelvic floor exercises should begin early even for young women, particularly those who are of child bearing age and 6 weeks after delivery. Kegel toner provides an easy and effective way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles-- there is no more worries about performing the exercise wrongly. Kegel Toner is safe to use -- of course always read the manual and avoid using it if you have active infections, pregnancy, pelvic cancer and no sensation in the pelvic area. Always consult your friendly gynecologist before use. Many women are simply too ashamed to seek medical advice for continence issues, let alone learning how to perform Kegel exercise properly and adequately. Many healthcare professionals often dismiss continence issues too -- as they are not life-threatening. Lack of the knowledge too may result in these healthcare practitioners unable to educate their patients too.


Many with stress incontinence may not perform Kegel exercises. They may then resort to wearing continence pads or adult diapers which may erode self confidence and impair quality of life, even leading to depression and anxiety issues. Patients may feel embarrassed, isolate oneself, or limit work and social life. One may also avoid physical and leisure activities. Therefore, stress incontinence should not be dismissed and should be taken seriously.


In severe cases of stress incontinence not responding to the above measures, pessary, urethral inserts and even pelvic surgery may be necessary.


However with treatment, many will be able to manage stress incontinence and improve their overall well-being. If you experience continence issues, speak to your doctor today!


TensCare Kegel Toner is available on Lazada store with a 2-year warranty from the brand: https://www.lazada.com.my/shop/tenscare-official-store


More about stress incontinence:


https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/incontinence-and-continence-problems


https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stress-incontinence/



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