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Stress incontinence - can it be cured?

(38 Posts)
BetaMummy Thu 06-May-10 17:15:16

I've recently taken up running and I've discovered my pelvic floor is completely knackered!

I realise I'm going to have to start doing some serious pelvic floor exercising, but I'm very doubtful that it will be enough. What I would really like to know is whether anyone has gone from being very stress-incontinent to OK and if so, exactly what exercises did you do to achieve it?

To give you an idea of how bad it is, I made the mistake of running with a not completely empty bladder and I was saturated blush (luckily, it was dark and I was in black or I would have been mortified). I now make sure I don't have a drink for 2 hours before a run and I still have to wear a night-time sanitary towel - not good from a hydration perspective and not nice feeling like a "tenor lady".

CurlsLDN Wed 31-Dec-14 19:50:24

Hi everyone, this is fascinating. My ds is 8 months old, and I wee a little when I cough, sneeze or a lot if I puke. (as if norovirus wasn't bad enough!)
I realised early on that I couldn't run or jump without weeing. It was only when I started a new excersise class this week and was the only mum who couldn't do the skipping rope that I realised maybe this isn't 'just one of those things.'

Im going to see the gp to discuss it, but don't want to be fobbed off. To those who got referrals, was your situation worse than mine or about the same? To those who had surgery, same question?
Thankyou so much for your help and honesty!

notrege Tue 09-Dec-14 16:18:05

I had problems for about 4 years and tried physio which was claimed to be effective in 75% of cases, reduced caffeine - nothing worked. Had trans-bdurator tape op - initially very uncomfortable for first night and told to take 4 weeks off work, but one week on - I'm fine and OK to return to work. The warning is though do not lift anything heavier than two light carrier bags again ever. My mother had the same problem and never had surgery made her much less active than she could have been, I didn't want this to happen to me. Try all the exercises, give it time but if it doesn't work would definitely try surgery - was better than expected

mamatens Thu 17-Jul-14 12:20:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

willistheeggman Wed 16-Oct-13 16:16:41

There are devices out there to help with prolapse without surgery. Have you heard of incostress? They had a device that strengthens pelvic floor muscles. Not sure how it actually works but they have them in Boots, so must be pretty good:

FeniaB Wed 31-Jul-13 12:59:04

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gussiegrips Fri 10-May-13 23:22:48

Phew, who knows It's always awkward if you conflict with another's advice!

You have to weigh up risk/benefit with anything - so, if the notion of not having the runner's high makes your mental health wobble, then, do it, but remember you'll need your pelvic floor when you are an elderly lady, and that's not for aaaaa-haaaaa-ges.

Do yer blardy exercises, it'll really help.

Now, tell me how to motivate my fat ass into running...

Just got back from an appt with my gynae physio this morning, I am 6 months post rectocele repair with a mild cystocele, which has shown an improvement in the last two months following her exercise advice (PFEs, pilates, jogging)

WRT running, she has advised me that I am Ok to jog provided I keep it slow, low impact (ie short stride, feet staying close to the ground) and build up distance very gradually, also proper fitted running shoes. Similar to what Gussie advises.

LemonBreeland Fri 10-May-13 13:19:53

Thanks gussie that is really helpful. I have a sore hip atm too so not able to do anything until that is sorted.

gussiegrips Fri 10-May-13 11:53:01

walk, Lemon. Walk fast, walk far. Has the same cardio and calorie burning effect as running, but without knackering your nethers.

Or, run in water. You'll look like an eejit, but it works.

Or, if you absolutely must run, good shoes, short distances, empty bladder, vary the running surfaces - soft like sand is great, less soft like grass is good, hard like tarmac is not.

Sorry, I know it's not what everyone wants to hear. But, there's a reason why runners wear sanitary pads, tie jumpers round their waists and dump bottles of water over their heads...

LemonBreeland Fri 10-May-13 11:14:45

gussie that is interesting about the running. I wanted to rake up running as I'm seriously unfit and it's free and easy. Howevet your comments have made me rethink.

LemonBreeland Fri 10-May-13 11:08:40

I had a tvt op two weeks ago. I am so pleased with the results. I keep worrying every time I cough or sneeze but it is fine. grin

I saw a continence physio for 6 months first to improve my pelvic floor in the hope that it would help but it didn't make a difference for me.

gussiegrips Fri 10-May-13 11:01:48

This is my job, I'm a physio. Just nipping on to mark my place - got 3 pukey kids at home (not really looking forward to when I catch the lurgy, puke=piss in my case)

Running - I'm really sorry, running with a saggy fanjo is a Bad Idea. Every time your heel strikes the ground there's x3 your body weight rattling up your leg into your pelvic floor. Which is also working hard to resist the impact of all your guts banging up and down on top of it.

So, even if you weigh 7 stones, that's 21 stones with Every Single Stride.

That's why some folk are fine, unless they run. Or, they can run for a bus, not not 5 km. Or, they can run if they dehydrate themselves first.

Seriously, if you've had surgery, you should avoid running or treadmills or rowing machines.

Incostress is useful for exercise, sort of wedges everything back up there - but, you do need to doyerblardyexercises too.

I've got a website (for info, amn't trying to advertise - get the link off my profile!) with a list of the exercises. And, I tweet x3 day - follow me @gussiegrips and I'll nag you into complying.

Evidence is that 70% of simple stress incontinence can be cured by doing 3 exercises, 3 times a day for 3 months. Cured.

Of course, if you've got a prolapse it's not so effective, but, my own G2 one is managed conservatively and I'm hoping to keep it that way for a long time.

have a look at the website, ask me any questions you like and PM me if you are all shy.

You don't have to put up with it. It makes me really cross, this affcts athird of women aged 35-55, messes with their mental health and ruins their sex lives. A man wouldn't put up with it, why should you?

I'm doing some research on what happens if you teach groups of women the exercises, in an irrevernt fashion. I'm doing a fringe show at hte Edinburgh festival, Gusset Grippers. It's not as scary as it sounds, I have a hobby of stand up comedy. But, I'm hopeful that teaching women in groups will get them talking, burst the taboo, and put tena out of business

Hi everyone,

Some of you may have seen or posted on it already, but there are lots of people with experience of this on the long running Prolapse threads Any old prolapse.

Also, there has been some useful information on this thread, I listened to the Woman's Hour thing today, and I am going to post a link to this thread on the prolapse one, it is good to be able to get support for these embarrassing in RL problems.

justkeeponsmiling Wed 08-May-13 13:11:54

I have the same problem, only became aware of it when I started running - cringe!!!

I don't mind going to the GP but would prefer to try on my own first. I've decided to try the Aquaflex pelvic weights as they had really good reviews. They should arrive any day now so will let you know how I get on!

MamaMtundu are you talking about the Incostress? I nearly ordered that one but in the end decided it sounded too good to be true.
Does it work for you???

digerd Wed 08-May-13 07:25:02

I had problems after the menopause and my bladder had prolapsed through the Cervix slightly. The op suggested was only 50/50 chance of success, so said No. Instead I was given tablets called Oxybutynin which worked immediately, but does give you a dry mouth and can stop you sweating.

ahastings Tue 07-May-13 20:11:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

run4it Fri 01-Jun-12 20:46:59

I had the same problem, post kids. gritted my teeth and went to dr and got referral - hospital decided I needed physio rather than surgery. I have a tendancy to be constipated, so got put on movicol/laxido, which I take every day now (if you are constipated you are likely to have stress incontinence apparently - analogy was trying to close your fist around an iron bar...(nice)). I also was advised to get a pelvitoner - plastic device, looks like a speculum, which you practice squeezing to strengthen your muscles. the combination of the two worked fabulously for me.

ronny2 Fri 01-Jun-12 11:06:19

I hope I can bring good news and hope to all you sufferers. I had twins 4 years ago, natural delivery and since then have not been able to run, jump, cough, sneeze......without unpleasant consequences. Even walking quickly to catch a train or bus was out of the question.
I am now 48 hours out of surgery after a TOT operation. Took me 2 years to pluck up the courage after reading so many horror stories about TVT. Why did I waste so much time suffering I ask myself now. I am already back on my feet, albeit a little achy but I think that is more from how they secure your legs during surgery than the operation itself. Whilst I havn't got to the stage where I can test our running yet, I have sneezed and coughed with no leakage whatsover, so I am optimistic about the further freedom it may give me. I will keep you posted once I feel confident all has healed and I can try out jogging etc.
Don't keep suffering.


mamamia4 Sun 13-May-12 23:16:33

Dear All,

I have been researching this of late and thought I would share my findings but obviously you need to check everything out for yourself.

Me: 46yrs, 4 kids, slim, fit, healthy. Pelvic Floor ruined after birth no.1. I'm not talking a little dribble on coughing sneezing etc, more like wet to ankles on running with a buggy to cross the road -that was a shock four months postnatally! I wear a thin pad everyday and a thick pad if I go running.

I have had all the urodynamic investigations, embarrassing but not painful.
Gyne told me I need a TVT repair, exercises would help but I would never be able to go with out a Tena pad as I was beyond being dry! Exercised for England but she was right, for me, not that much difference. BTW physios do not recommend lifting heavy weights or running for those with weak pelvic floors. Cycling, yoga, pilates more suitable.

For some women it just does not get any better and typically we suffer in silence and put off dealing with the problem. I have lived with this for 11 years and only now that no.4 at school have I got around to sorting myself out. I was alarmed to hear recently that SOME mesh repairs are now banned in the USA as they have been causing problems. By chance I heard a fantastic programme on Woman's Hour (BBC R4) discussing this:

I went to see the Gyne who spoke on the show, he has completely reassured me. There is a great deal of confusion surrounding mesh repairs, not all mesh tapes are the same, the majority of the ones causing the problems should never have been used and the Johnson & Johnson TVT is the only one to have in his opinion. Yes if you research thoroughly you will find that J&J were involved in the scandal surrounding the 'bad' tapes, they bought out a company that originally produced the 'bad' tape and were then caught in the huge law suit when the scandal unfolded. That tape is no longer on the market.

One of the most important questions to ask your surgeon is how many of these procedures do they perform. As with everything in life the more you do something the better you get at it and the less mistakes you make. I wouldn't let at surgeon near me that wasn't VERY experienced with fitting TVT. FYI: This surgeon fits TVT as a day case, most patients walk out of hospital are sore for a few days, no exercise for 6 weeks, and make a full recovery. Yes, there are risks, as with all procedures, you have to look at these and make up your own mind. I'm booking my TVT asap. After years of feeling utterly depressed and hopeless, I wish I'd got on and done it years ago. I will keep you posted. Research, research, research, good luck.

MigGril Sat 05-Jun-10 21:02:29

Hi BetaMummy,

I found I had this problem last year when I started running. didn't have problems at any other time just running, hence didn't realise I had a problem untill then.

Tripe to GP's and a refural to physio and things got a lot better just through the right excersies. So you may not need surgary at all.

Good luck

golfgirl79 Sat 05-Jun-10 13:03:21

MamaMtundu - SNAP! i am sure i read the same website (usa based) with all the horror stories... it completely steered me away from the idea of having surgery to fix my stress incontinence... those stories were horrific... but my physio and other people told me to stop reading things on the internet, lol....

my physio told me to read proper clinical trials etc, not what any tom, dick or harry can write on the internet... plus i suppose you always get people saying negative things, there most likely isn't going to be a website devoted to how so many women just loved their TVT operation, if you know what i mean...?

to the girls who have had tvt surgery... you have given me so much hope... i am only 30 years old and have 2 kids, youngest being nearly 5 months old... i have SEVERE stress incontinence which occurs every time i walk, stand up etc, my bladder just empties... i had a cystoscopy and it was revealed that my bladder neck was open, i am trying all the physio and am told i need to wait at least a year before considering surgery, to give my body a chance to recover and my pelvic floor to rehabilitate...

my questions for the girls who have had tvt surgery are:

how long did you wait after childbirth to have the sugery?
how old are you?
out of ten, what would you rate the surgery in curing your incontinence/giving your quality of life back?

i am worried about having the surgery because i am quite young, i have been warned the surgery might only last 5 years and then my symptoms could come back, and with each subsequent surgery the success diminishes... i am worried i am going to have used up all my treatment options, get to 40 years old and have no where to go... does that make sense? i am hoping that in the next 10 years they come up with a great cure/treatment... i have read a bit about stem cell treatment which has literally worked miracles.... i hope this sort of treatment is available soon...

any help you could give me would be so much appreciated, i don't know anyone and haven't found anyone online who has had the surgery before, so i am so excited to get some first hand feedback.... my uro-gynae has warned me it is not 100% and there is always the chance it won't work... he is a good surgeon but i suppose being realistic... i honestly don't know what i would do if it doesn't work... i can't imagine living life like this but i suppose people put up with much worse..

ps i am in australia by the way...

thanking you in advance for your help/advice

ladylush Mon 17-May-10 11:11:11

Started running 7 weeks ago and same thing happened to me the first couple of times but it is ok now so I think my bladder must be getting stronger. I go to the loo just before I start running - and I wear a pad just in case.

MamaMtundu Mon 17-May-10 11:06:22

thanks for your reply purplepeony. it's def something that I'm going to have to look into again.

purplepeony Thu 13-May-10 14:44:02


I had an anterior and posterior repair- not TVT. it was mainly anterior for prolasped bladder and they also shortened the ligaments to my uterus to hitch it up a bit.

I was told by the physio and gynae that running puts a lot of strain on the pelvic floor, due to the "crash factor" as you land.

I was told that my pelvic floor was not strong anyway as I had had prolapse, so not to risk making anything worse.

I don't know why I had problems- I had done all my PF exercises before the birth but my DS arrived very quickly- first labour under 3 hrs start to finish, but it wasn't until after the birth of my DD 2 years later that things didn't feel right.

I suggest you make an appt with a physio with expertise in bladder/women's problems and see what they suggest.

HinnyPet Wed 12-May-10 21:49:46

I had two huge babies, over 10lbs each so think I'm a bit "affected" by bladder weakness!

Well I've just been for bladder tests today so I can get TVT tape. Had previously had Physio which was okay, now I can go to gym a bit and not leak but I certainly can't run, sneeze or cough.

Tests were okay, you have to be cheerful when there's a tube up your wee-wee hole and a tube up your fanjo and when they pump you full of cold saline it does feel odd!! You then have to wee in a commode to check your volume's all computerised too.

Hope to get appt for TVT in August....

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