The most frequent form of urinary incontinence in women is Stress Urinary Incontinence, (SUI) defined as "involuntary leakage on effort or exertion, or on sneezing or coughing"

SUI incontinence can occur when you have a weak pelvic floor or sphincter muscle, and increased pressure is placed on your bladder.

It is a common problem in the female population with prevalence rates varying between 10% and 55% in 15- to 64-year-old women.

Causes

Common causes of SUI include pregnancy, childbirth, chronic coughing, surgical procedures, menopause, certain types of physical exercise and obesity.

SUI and athletes

As many as 45% of elite athletes, including runners and triathletes, experience SUI during sport activity.

Several studies have documented that young women, especially those practising high impact sports, are considered to be at greater risk for developing SUI. 

SUI in athletes is related to how frequently athletes are subjected to increased intra-abdominal pressure, which is caused by a contraction of the abdominal muscles in high-impact activities without proper awareness and strengthening of the perineal muscles.

Strenuous physical activity that involves intra-abdominal pressure can overload and chronically damage the perineum (including the periurethral striated muscle), thus decreasing the contraction strength of the pelvic floor muscle (PFM) and increasing the risk for SUI.

PFM

The Pelvic floor is divided into three layers – superficial, middle and deep. These muscles have 4 main functions: support, bowel/bladder control, sexual function, stability.

PFM.jpg

The middle layer, known as the urogenital diaphragm, helps to compress and close the urethra, much like a hose.

The deepest layer of the pelvic floor muscles is known as the pelvic diaphragm. These muscles play a smaller role in urinary continence control and function more to support the pelvic organs and help balance intra-abdominal pressure. The muscles of the pelvic diaphragm are designed for endurance. When working properly, they help triathletes stay balanced and supported with sport activity.

The diaphragm, pelvic floor and abdominal muscles work as a team to balance intra-abdominal pressure. When one muscle group is over-used or over-developed, imbalances may occur. With imbalances, the muscles of the urethra cannot “keep the hose closed” and incontinence may result.

Some activities that may affect this balance include: upper abdominal exercises such as crunches and sit-ups, running, jumping, breath holding with physical activity, prolonged sitting on a bike.

One of the misconceptions of SUI is that to prevent leakage while running is that you need to be contracting your pelvic floor the entire time. The pelvic floor is a dynamic group of muscles, which must load and lengthen to absorb the force downward with high impact loading. Imagine a trampoline that is sprung too tightly. If you jump on it, there is no bounce. Holding the pelvic floor muscles in a state of contraction has the same effect. Two potential dysfunctions may result: the pelvic floor muscles will give up, resulting in incontinence, or they may become chronically stiff hypertonic and could lead to pain.

When running the goal should not be about tightening the pelvic floor but controlling the loading and the impact on the muscles. Bad running posture may shift a lot of unnecessary weight onto the pelvic floor muscles and organs, creating imbalance. Keeping the abdominals tightly braced while running will also increase intra-abdominal pressure and excessively load the pelvic floor muscles. Breathing properly allows the diaphragm to expand and can dramatically decrease the abnormal pressure on the pelvic floor. With the proper muscle balance good alignment, and breathing, triathletes can minimize the risk of SUI with sport activity.

Learning how to incorporate these muscles’ actions into your existing workouts may be very helpful to prevent incontinence. If you are already experiencing symptoms, BioMed can help.

Treatment

Urinary incontinence can happen to anyone and the severity varies depending on the age, cause, and type of urinary incontinence. Living with incontinence can pose many challenges. The condition can cause you to limit the life you once had - foregoing social events, distancing yourself from family and friends, and even missing days of work. So, it comes as no surprise that workouts may also be affected. In fact, studies have shown that up to 20% of women have reported quitting their physical activities due to incontinence. Experiencing leakage when running or doing certain types of exercise is very common, but it’s not normal. Most cases of urinary incontinence can be cured or controlled with appropriate treatment. You shouldn’t have to live with incontinence, and the good news is you don’t have to. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating SUI.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, often referred to as PRP therapy, may help women with problems controlling their flow of urine by tightening their vaginal tissue and rebuilding their body’s own natural collagen. This all-natural procedure is relatively simple, pain free and with no side effects.

The PRP Process

When you receive PRP therapy, the first thing that will happen is that a blood sample is drawn which is then spun in an FDA-approved centrifuge, isolating the beneficial platelets.

Once separated, this platelet-rich blood is injected back into the body into the areas of concern. This process is designed to help women with not only SUI but also a variety of other issues, from lack of sexual desire to the inability to have an orgasm during sex.

PRP and the menopause

‘The change’, ‘the time of life’ – call it what you will, it is an unavoidable fact that almost all women go through the menopause.

However, for many women this natural process can be a time of anxiety and distress due to the various symptoms that can accompany it. The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body's hormones. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51. But around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. Most women will experience some symptoms during the menopause. The duration and severity of these symptoms varies from woman to woman.

Some women breeze through the whole thing and hardly notice it's happening. Four in five, however, will experience some symptoms which may include:

  • Hot flushes – short, sudden feelings of heat, usually in the face, neck and chest, which can make your skin red and sweaty
  • Joint stiffness, aches and pains
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Weak bladder
  • Night sweats – hot flushes that occur at night
  • Difficulty sleeping – this may make you feel tired and irritable during the day
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex

After the menopause the ovaries make less oestrogen. The lack of oestrogen can lead to thinning of the tissues of the vagina and a reduction in the number of glands that make mucus. At least half of women experience vaginal dryness. The genital area may also change in appearance.

Many women have difficulty managing their symptoms and struggle to find support.

Why not consider O-Shot PRP Therapy?

Quite often HRT, with all it’s known side effects, or other, less effective alternative remedies, may be offered for the relief of menopausal symptoms. Completely natural and risk free, the O-Shot could be just the answer you are looking for. The procedure is quick, (takes about 20 mins) and painless, with no negative side effects, only positives.

Additional Support

Claudia, your Health Care Professional at BioMed, treats the body as a series of systems which need to be in balance for optimum health, so, in addition to PRP, she offers support according to the type of sport or training in which you participate. Following an assessment of your individual personal profile, Claudia will formulate a Health Plan which may combine nutritional supplementation and/or Bioregulatory medicines. Using this integrated approach achieves speedier physical and mental recovery, enabling you to get back to your active lifestyle.

Book a consultation now

 

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