Patient Stories: Bladder Leakage
Real Women. Real Stories.
If so many women are dealing with incontinence, why have you never heard women talk about it? Many women feel embarrassed, think it’s just a normal part of aging or believe they can cope with it on their own. Whatever the reason, it’s just not something most women talk about with their friends, family or physicians. We’ve spoken with women who have suffered with, and taken steps to control incontinence. Read the stories of real women who suffered from stress urinary incontinence and had surgery to take control of their condition.
Active-duty officer U.S. Army
“I have a new lease on life; from living in fear to normal!”
In the Army, and especially in the special ops unit where Tina serves, there aren’t a lot of women around— including doctors who treat mostly men. For years she was misdiagnosed by her primary care physician with urinary tract infections. She “did about a million Kegels” in an effort to control her leakage and never found any relief for her pain.
In her active and extremely stressful job, there often wasn’t any way to hide her leakage. She would even go so far as to pretend to fall in a puddle to disguise her issue. Finally, when the pain was too much to bear she was referred to a specialist.
The specialist diagnosed Tina with Stress Urinary Incontinence. Tina was so relieved to find out that it was a medical condition that could be fixed. Because she had been misdiagnosed for so long, her bladder had deteriorated and surgery was recommended right away. She looked for a surgeon to perform her sling procedure.
The doctor walked her carefully through the procedure and answered all of her questions. Tina had some questions about what she had seen in the news, and the doctor very directly explained how those procedures might have gone wrong, and how the technique she used in surgery would be different. The fact that the doctor was so honest relieved her concerns. She scheduled her procedure.
Tina’s first sling disconnected, possibly because she didn’t comply with her postoperative orders. She was very careful in resting after her second surgery. It was a success and now Tina has a new lease on life. “Instead of living in fear, I feel normal.”
Tina hopes that other women understand that hope for recovery is real. “You are not alone,” she says, “and there is nothing to be ashamed about.”
Physician and mother of three
"I never think about it anymore. Ever. If only I had done it sooner."
Carol first noticed a bit of leakage when she was trying to lose some unwanted pounds and added jumping jacks to her routine. She was active and quite fit, so she was surprised when she “peed her pants” a bit. Being a physician, she knew incontinence happens to many women, but she didn’t expect it to happen to her.
She dealt with occasional leakage for about four months. One day, she stepped off a curb and wet herself. “This is ridiculous,” she thought and made an appointment with her gynecologist.
Her gynecologist fitted her with a pessary — but Carol didn’t feel confident that he was up to date on the latest medicine. Knowing what questions to ask your doctor regarding incontinence can be difficult. View the recommended questions on FemalePelvicSolutions.com here.
She searched for a specialist and met with him. He felt Carol was a perfect candidate for a sling procedure. He explained everything in detail and addressed Carol’s questions about the safety of the procedure. She felt confident in his abilities and trusted his judgment, so she scheduled the procedure.
Carol had a very successful procedure with no complications. And the best thing about it? She never thinks about her incontinence anymore — or the fear of wetness or odor. Never. Having the procedure was a huge relief and boosted Carol’s confidence. She urges her friends who wear pads to consider a sling procedure, saying, “Why wear pads when there is a much better option?”
(Coloplast invited Julie, Tina, and Carol to share their stories. Each person’s situation is unique; your experience may not be the same. Talk with your doctor about whether this product is right for you.)