These 4 Factors Could Mean Urinary Incontinence is in Your Future

Los Angeles Urology Specialist Urinary IncontinenceRemember the last time you laughed so hard that you started coughing? If you’d prefer not to recall because you also unexpectedly leaked urine, then you may be dealing with incontinence. Surprisingly, many women simply dismiss such loss of bladder control as an unavoidable side effect of age.

Aging does contribute to female incontinence by weakening the bladder and urethra muscles, reducing the bladder’s ability to hold urine as well as its capacity to store urine. However, other factors could also be responsible.

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, a division of Comprehensive Urology, we are the Los Angeles incontinence specialists, and we specialize in diagnosing incontinence causes, advising patients of their risks, and helping patients learn effective prevention methods.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Incontinence is not a single disease, nor should it be treated as one. Often, it is a symptom of an underlying health issue. Also, it can be an endless source of embarrassment or inconvenience because it affects traveling, work productivity, social engagements, and self-esteem.

The following are types of female incontinence that you may be experiencing:

  • Stress incontinence is associated with urine leakage due to sudden movements, such as laughing, sneezing, getting up, or coughing
  • Urge incontinence, also called overactive bladder (OAB), is when you have constant urges to urinate even when you don’t have a lot of urine stored in the bladder and also leak some urine; it’s an involuntary, nearly continuous urge to urinate plus leakage
  • Overflow incontinence is when your bladder overflows with urine (likely due to reduced bladder sensation)
  • Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of any of the above

The type of bladder issue you have depends on a variety of conditions. However, if you are 40 or older, the following four factors could mean you are at risk of experiencing incontinence issues of some type.

Factor 1: Sex (Incontinence is More Common in Females)

Although men are susceptible to incontinence, especially if they have prostate issues such as prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate, women are more likely than men to be incontinent.

Causes of bladder issues in women can be attributed to the following:

  • Pregnancy causes hormone fluctuations and extra pressure of the uterus on the bladder
  • Childbirth can cause weakened vaginal muscles as well damaged nerves and tissue that can lead to a “dropped” pelvic floor muscles and finally stress incontinence
  • During menopause, a loss of estrogen production can lead to a steady decline in the health of bladder or urethra tissue and lead to stress incontinence
  • A hysterectomy can weaken or damage pelvic floor muscles

Factor 2: Weight (Obesity)

Being overweight is one of the major causes or worsening of incontinence, so if you are above your optimal weight, your risks have probably skyrocketed.

The excess weight literally puts pressure on your bladder and nearby muscles. The organ and its related muscles eventually weaken and leave you to deal with stress incontinence. Any cough, sneeze or other sudden movement can lead to embarrassing leakage.

For incontinence prevention, a regular exercise program and eating right helps you lose the necessary weight to reduce the pressure on your bladder and help reduce your accidents.

Factor 3: Diseases, Injuries, and Other Medical Conditions

Common causes of incontinence include a variety of medical conditions. Diabetes can increase risks by weakening sensations of the bladder. Infections, such as urinary tract infections, can cause bladder irritation and lead to temporary urge incontinence.

Neurological conditions are also nefarious causes of bladder issues, including the following:

  • Stroke
  • Spinal injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

As if each of the above conditions is not bad enough, they can disrupt nerve signals in the urological system and lead to bladder accidents.

Factor 4: Smoking-Related Leakage

Los Angeles Weak Bladder Prevention TipsYou may be wondering how smoking can be one of the causes of incontinence, but it’s just another in a long line of harsh impacts that smoking has on the body. Smoking is one of the major causes of stress incontinence in Los Angeles due to the fact that it can cause chronic coughing.

Eventually, this causes damage to the pelvic floor muscles, weakening them and making the bladder unstable.

But that’s not all. Smoking can irritate the lining of any of your inner organs – not just your heart or lungs – and your bladder is at risk as well, which can cause symptoms of overactive bladder.

Obviously, a major prevention method is to stop smoking (or, even better, never start in the first place).

Reliable Treatment Options for Bladder Accidents

Regardless of the causes of urine leakage, you have a variety of treatment options available. You’ll have to schedule a consultation with an incontinence specialist in Los Angeles to find the appropriate treatment plan for you, but you have a choice of effective medications, non-pharmacological solutions (at Comprehensive Urology, we have our own special, customized rehabilitation programs), surgery, and more.

Learn about treating incontinence with Botox® at WebMD.com.

Talk to Comprehensive Urology Today If You Suspect You Have Incontinence

Although female incontinence is not a threat to your health, it does put your self-esteem at risk and inconvenience many aspects of your life. If you believe that your incontinence risks have increased due to your lifestyle or any other factor, don’t hesitate to contact the Los Angeles incontinence experts today at Comprehensive Urology to schedule a consultation. Call 310.307.3552 or contact us online to discuss your situation.

In a Nutshell: Female Urinary Incontinence

  • Definition: Involuntary and unwanted loss of urine (from a few drops to a full bladder)
  • Types: Stress Incontinence (leakage with physical activity, coughs, sneezes, laughing, etc); Urge Incontinence (urgency to go to the bathroom and accidents if not in time); Overflow (lack of bladder sensation until urine overflows), and Mixed Incontinence, which is combination of the above
  • Causes: Pregnancy and multiple vaginal deliveries, menopause, overactive bladder, neurological issues, diabetes, spines issues, etc
  • Treatments: Multiple options based on the cause and type of incontinence. Lifestyle modification, medications (to relax the bladder, lose weight, quit smoking), pelvic floor physical therapy and exercises, peripheral tibial nerve stimulation, surgical procedures (e.g. slings, pelvic organ prolapse repair, injection of Botox® into the bladder, sacral nerve stimulator implantation, injection of urethral bulking agents, etc. depending on the condition)

Next, read Have You Undergone a Hysterectomy? Here’s How to Fight Incontinence

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Have You Undergone a Hysterectomy? Here’s How to Fight Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence Treatment in Los Angeles

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, we know that urinary incontinence can be embarrassing even though it usually isn’t symptomatic of a serious health condition. It can happen to both males and females regardless of age or health, but it affects women more often than it does men. While pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are commonly responsible for the condition, a hysterectomy is one of the most common causes of incontinence in women in Los Angeles

As you grow older, the chances of incontinence rise due to weakened or stretched pelvic muscles, often resulting from medications, urological infections, or even surgery. Depending on the type and cause of urinary incontinence, a skilled urologist can determine the best incontinence treatments for each patient’s unique needs and goals.

Types of Bladder Control Issues

Stress incontinence (SI)

Stress incontinence refers to the condition where pressure from physical actions (sneezing, coughing, exercising, etc.) squeezes the bladder, causing urine leakage. This often occurs because the pelvic muscles are so stretched that they cannot tighten enough to support your bladder.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence means you have a strong urge to pee – even if there’s only a little bit of urine in the bladder – but can’t get to the bathroom on time. The bladder muscle is so overactive that it pushes urine out of the bladder unexpectedly.

A combination of the two, mixed incontinence, is common, as well as overflow incontinence, which causes an overflow of urine due to a blocked urethra.

Hysterectomy-Related Urinary Issues

According to research, women who undergo a hysterectomy appear to have an increased risk of SI, usually within the first five years after the surgery. Yet, it is believed that there are many women with bladder control issues following a hysterectomy who never seek help, mostly because they’re unaware that effective incontinence treatments are available.

If you suspect that you’re suffering from some type of female bladder issue in the Los Angeles area, be sure to see an experienced, board-certified urologist for a proper diagnosis.

Receive an Expert Diagnostic Evaluation

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, we perform our diagnoses at our Beverly Hills practice by carefully combing through your history to determine the cause and type of female urinary issues.

Often, we’ll evaluate the urine capacity of your bladder to determine if the bladder muscles are functioning properly. In addition to that, we might use various techniques to measure bladder pressure and urine flow.

We could also run the following tests to identify the exact cause(s):

Urinalysis – This tests for infections, stones, and other potential causes of bladder leakage.

Stress test – You simply cough and the doctor observes how much urine leaks.

Blood test – A sample of your blood is taken and rushed to a lab to be examined for potential health issues behind the loss of bladder control.

Ultrasound – This innovative method produces an image of your kidneys, bladder, and urethra using sound waves.

Cystoscopy – Your doctor will examine your urethra and bladder using a tiny camera inserted via a thin tube.

State-of-the-Art Female Incontinence Treatments

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, your health is our concern. Treatments for a weak or overactive bladder can involve a single approach or a combination of therapies, but many of our patients aren’t seeking complicated intervention as much as they’re seeking a way to at least be in control.

Even if you suffer from incontinence as a result of a hysterectomy, we encourage you to be proactive. As each case is different, your doctor will recommend the best incontinence treatments for your unique needs, which may include the following:

Modifying Habits

In many cases, this is among the most consistent and effective incontinence treatment. By scheduling trips to the bathroom and proactively managing your bladder, you can help keep leakage under control and to a minimum.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy, where you can learn specific exercises that target and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, can help give you control over your bladder, which is really all most patients are asking for.

Holistic Therapies

The following recommendations can actually help you manage your urinary condition:

  • Meditation helps reduce stress and calm the mind and body, which can help you remain in control of your bladder.
  • Acupuncture can restore balance to your body by stimulating the nerves, blood flow, and oxygen within your body, which can help reduce the symptoms of urine leakage or loss of bladder control.
  • A massage relaxes your body and muscles, which can help alleviate the stress on your urological system.

Each of these incontinence treatments can be supplemented and made more effective by eating a proper diet, exercising regularly, and making other simple lifestyle adjustments, as well.

Medications

Los Angeles Urology Specialists

In addition to behavioral changes, medication as part of incontinence treatments can be effective. Common incontinence medications include anticholinergic medications, which help calm the muscles of an overactive bladder, and topical estrogen, which rejuvenates vaginal tissue and can reduce urine leakage symptoms.

Non-Surgical Treatments

If medications, habit changes, or other incontinence treatments don’t work, several non-surgical treatments – including pessaries and urethral inserts – can assist with female incontinence.

Surgery

For many women, this is the last resort. Various surgical options are available for urinary incontinence, including pelvic support procedures or endoscopic injections to limit leakage.

Contact a Female Urology Specialist in LA

Hysterectomy incontinence is common though irritating and embarrassing. However, effective types of incontinence treatments are available to offer relief and control. For more information, contact the Los Angeles incontinence experts at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction today for a consultation. Contact us online or call 310.307.3552 to schedule an appointment.

Next, read our blog, ThermiVa: The Answer to Your Problems “Down There.”

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ThermiVa®: The Answer to Your Problems “Down There”

Beverly Hills Urinary Incontinence TreatmentOnly so many years ago, most women would rather stay silent about their normal genital issues to avoid a feeling of embarrassment. A woman might be hard pressed to discuss private bodily issues, such as urinary incontinence, uncomfortable vaginal dryness, or even loose and unattractive labia even with a close friend, let alone a doctor. But with the introduction of the vaginal rejuvenation device ThermiVa, millions of women are booking appointments to take advantage of the life-changing benefits. ThermiVa treatments have given women the confidence to address a wide range of urinary and gynecological symptoms simply because the device offers amazing results without any need for painful surgery, unpredictable medications, or downtime.

Urinary incontinence, loss of sensation, and vulvovaginal dryness may be common symptoms of aging and childbirth, but that doesn’t mean that women should just live with them. ThermiVa offers a simple solution to a myriad of feminine health issues. Unlike in previous years, women can get the help they need without having to undergo a vaginoplasty or labiaplasty. Get in touch with the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills to begin your vaginal rejuvenation journey with ThermiVa today.

A Non-Surgical Solution for Female Urinary Incontinence and Gynecological Issues in Los Angeles

ThermiVa uses radiofrequency technology to gently warm internal and external tissue, such as the labia majora and minora, and the vaginal canal, which not only shrinks and tightens the tissue but also stimulates collagen and elastin fiber production. These fibers are major components of skin and connective tissue. They essentially help the skin feel firm and supple again. The non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment ThermiVa has a wide range of benefits for the look, feel, and function of a woman’s vagina and also bladder, offering an incredibly effective solution for the following issues:

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Female stress urinary incontinence is very common among women of all ages, whether due to menopause, childbirth, pregnancy, hysterectomy, or other condition. If the uterine and pelvic muscles become stretched or weakened (pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, etc) it can be difficult for women to control their bladders, resulting in leaks or accidents, especially when exerting pressure on the bladder (stress incontinence) by sneezing, squatting, running, or other activity. ThermiVa treatments can help women regain control by tightening and firming the pelvic muscles and tissue responsible for urination. Using ThermiVa to reduce female urinary incontinence can also help prevent recurring urinary tract infections and yeast infections.

Vaginal Dryness

The majority of women entering perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause will experience vaginal dryness as a result of their bodies’ decreased estrogen production; however, dryness can occur as a result of other health conditions as well. Without adequate moisture in the area, the delicate skin can tear or become irritated and women can experience pain during sex and even vaginal atrophy or prolapse. The radiofrequency waves of ThermiVa help improve natural moisture and lubrication by stimulating blood flow and nerve generation in the tissue, which helps aid in tissue and gland function in and around the vagina.

Loose, Stretched Tissue

Age, hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, and childbirth can cause the delicate vaginal tissue to stretch and sag, which can make many women feel self-conscious or embarrassed. In some cases, the sagging skin can be extended to the point that even walking and moving creates painful friction against the skin, or the extended labia may even be visible when wearing tight-fitting clothing. ThermiVa treatment offers a quick solution to vaginal looseness by significantly tightening the loose skin, dramatically improving the appearance as well as the feel of a woman’s labia and vulvar area.

Weakened Pelvic Muscles

Pregnancy and childbirth can put enormous strain on a woman’s pelvic muscles, whether or not she has a vaginal delivery or c-section. The pelvic muscles and surrounding tissue are crucial for bladder function and gynecological health. Weakened pelvic muscles can lead to prolapse, urinary incontinence, and decreased sexual satisfaction. Fortunately, when administered by a skilled Beverly Hills urologist, like the doctors at Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, ThermiVa can make the muscles and tissue of the pelvic region firmer and more stable. The stronger pelvic muscles also help women experience more intense orgasms as a result, making ThermiVa treatments an ideal solution for women as well as their partners.

Learn more about pelvic prolapse at WebMD.com.

Loss of Sensitivity

As the vaginal canal and tissues become loose or stretched the nerves can become strained and dulled as a result. Many women experience less sexual satisfaction and sensitivity as they grow older, which can significantly reduce their sexual desire and negatively impact their romantic relationship. ThermiVa emits a radiofrequency energy that stimulates collagen production as well as increased blood flow and nerve development in the vagina. After just one ThermiVa treatment, many women notice a profound improvement in their sex lives and can even achieve multiple orgasms. Many happy patients in Los Angeles credit ThermiVa with recharging their love life.

In a Nutshell: ThermiVa® Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation

  • What is it? A non-surgical office-based device that uses radiofrequency technology to promote natural collagen production and tissue rejuvenation by application of gentle thermal energy.
  • Benefits: Significant improvement in the appearance of external female genitalia (even with one session), tighter vagina, improved lubrication, enhanced orgasms, better urinary control, better vaginal sensations.
  • Details: 30-min sessions, only 3 treatment sessions in a series, results last 9-12 months, zero downtime, no pain or discomfort

Contact Our ThermiVa Experts Today!

If you suffer from incontinence, discomfort, or other vaginal issues, schedule a consultation with a talented urologist in Beverly Hills to learn about how ThermiVa treatments can help you. Most women enjoy noticeable (and visible) results after just one session. After the standard three sessions, women experience a complete transformation of the vagina and bladder. Don’t wait to regain the control and pleasure you deserve at any age!

Next, read ThermiVa® vs. FemiLift®: What Treatment is Right for You?

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The Truth about Vaginal Reconstruction

Los Angeles Feminine Rejuvenation TreatmentsTalking about changes to the physical appearance of your genitals is often seen as something of a taboo. It can be embarrassing and, often, you feel as if you’re the only one in the world who has such a problem. But you’re not – millions of women are in the same boat.

At the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Los Angeles, we understand your anxiety. We specialize in diagnosing and treating women who have cosmetic insecurities or medical concerns with their vaginas. Contact the Institute online or call today at 310.307.3552 to schedule an appointment.

What Exactly is Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Very simply put, vaginal reconstruction re-contours your vagina, which can lose its shape after childbirth, injury, aging, or significant weight loss.

A vaginal reconstruction (sometimes called vaginal rejuvenation or aesthetic vaginal surgery) can refer to vaginoplasty (tightening of the vagina), labiaplasty (reshaping of the inner lips), vulvaplasty (reshaping the outer lips) or non-invasive ThermiVa ®. It can also include any combination of the four procedures.

Read on to find out 5 more truths associated with vaginal reconstruction:

Truth 1: What Actually Loosens Your Vagina

Your vagina can gradually loosen through the years from factors not remotely associated with sex. One example is if you’ve given birth to multiple children, which can cause decreased vaginal elasticity due to muscle fatigue. The result is that your vaginal muscles won’t fully contract.

Another factor is age, which causes lower estrogen levels. This causes your vaginal walls to become thinner and less elastic, robbing those muscles of their former tautness.

A vaginal lift can restore firmness, elasticity, and youthfulness.

Truth 2: Labia Reduction is Possible

It’s commonly thought that your vagina cannot be tightened through a vaginal reconstruction procedure, but this is simply not true. Using traditional or innovative alternative means, your labia can be reduced and reshaped exactly how you want.

However, it is absolutely a bad idea for a young woman or girl under the age of 21 to undergo this procedure for anything other than medical reasons (a traumatic injury to the vagina, for example). For most young women and girls, it is not necessary for your vagina to be tightened.

Truth 3: Vaginal Surgery is Not Just for Cosmetic Reasons

A large number of our patients here at the Institute don’t undergo vaginal rejuvenation for cosmetic reasons. Medically, this procedure offers them relief from various physical issues, such pain or irritation.

After childbirth, your urethra could have lowered or your bladder could have dropped, causing you severe pain or incontinence. Maybe your enlarged labia causes irritation when you wear certain clothes you enjoy wearing. Sometimes, stretched labia make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

Los Angeles vaginal reconstruction can effectively treat any of these issues. However, non-invasive methods like ThermiVa® can be as effective as surgical options, but without the invasive nature and recovery time.

Truth 4: Labia Reduction Can Be Performed By Traditional or Alternative Means

Traditional – Traditional vaginal reconstruction is usually performed on an outpatient basis and under local or general anesthesia. Very small incisions are made in your labia minor or labia majora to reshape them how you want. When healed, the incisions usually don’t leave any scarring because they are closed with dissolvable sutures.

You can return to work in 3-5 days, but you’ll be prohibited from exercise for the first 1-2 weeks and sex for about a month. After 3-4 weeks, the full effect of the procedure will become evident.

Non-Surgical Treatment – Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is now more common than traditional surgery. This non-invasive procedure uses a controlled heating through ThermiVa to tighten tissue. Your urologist has complete control of the procedure’s intensity to contract the collagen and elastin in your tissue to give you the long-term tightness and shape you want.

The procedure is safe and comfortable. Furthermore, there is almost no downtime – you can resume normal activity or exercise the same day as treatment.

This procedure also helps with issues such as mild incontinence or vaginal dryness and also restores a tighter appearance to your vagina, which can boost your sensations during sex and increase your self-confidence when wearing the tight, sexy clothes that you make look stunning!

Learn more about labiaplasty at WebMD.com.

Truth 5: It’s Designed to Be Permanent, But …

Vaginal reconstruction, whether surgical or otherwise, was designed to be permanent. However, the reality is this – if you have another child later on after surgery, or if you gain a large amount of weight, you can expect the appearance of your reconfigured vagina to be altered once again.

In a Nutshell: Vaginal Reconstruction and Rejuvenating Treatments

  • What is it for? Both for aesthetic (appearance) and functional (less irritation and improved sex life) reasons.
  • What can be fixed? Almost any changes including loose and enlarged vaginal canal, droopy appearance of external labia, redundancy of internal labia, etc
  • Techniques: Non-invasive and highly effective radiofrequency treatments (ThermiVa®), surgery through small incisions on the labia, surgery through the vagina (reform the canal), etc

Contact Beverly Hills Vaginal Reconstruction Specialists with Your Questions

Vaginal reconstruction is nothing to be embarrassed about. It simply restores the tightness and tone of your vagina and eliminates looseness from childbirth or aging. Restoring your vagina to its youthful shape and tightness will enhance your intimate moments. Learn more today by contacting an expert Los Angeles urologist at the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health through our online contact form or by calling 310.231.5234.

Next, read

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ThermiVa® vs. FemiLift®: What Treatment is Right for You?

Los Angeles Non-Surgical Vaginal TreatmentThe number of vaginal rejuvenation treatments has grown dramatically in the U.S. in just the past few years, particularly as more and more women are looking for solutions to the most common feminine health concerns. Fortunately, the treatments for such common issues as female incontinence, vaginal laxity, or pelvic prolapse have become so technologically advanced that women can enjoy dramatic improvements without the need for surgery.

Today, the most innovative treatments available to help women overcome uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful urological and gynecological issues are ThermiVa and FemiLift. Both of these feminine rejuvenation devices are non-surgical, non-invasive, and do not require anesthesia in order to help women reclaim their vaginal health and confidence. To learn the difference between ThermiVa and FemiLift, and determine which vaginal rejuvenation treatment is best suited to your needs, please continue reading and schedule a consultation at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills.

Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation

Vaginal rejuvenation treatments, such as ThermiVa and FemiLift, have grown in popularity among women of all ages due to the many aesthetic and medical benefits they can provide. Over time, many women experience changes in their vaginal structures and tissues, whether due to childbirth, hormones, or other life events.  Radiofrequency-based ThermiVa and CO2 laser-based FemiLift are the top non-surgical treatment options available for the following symptoms:

  • Sagging, stretched, or loose skin
  • Stress urinary incontinence (urine leaks when laughing, sneezing, or other activities)
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Vaginal dryness or looseness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Pelvic organ prolapse, such as cystocele, rectocele, or procidentia

While minor, it is crucial to learn the differences between ThermiVa and FemiLift in order to have the most comfortable experience and enjoy the best possible results.

What is ThermiVa®?

ThermiVa treatments use radiofrequency energy waves to gently heat the tissue and muscles of the vagina as well as the inner and outer labia. The treatment is administered with a smooth S-shaped device that can be comfortably positioned to target internal and external tissues, resulting in tighter, firmer skin and muscles. The ThermiVa energy even penetrates to the deeper layers of tissue to stimulate collagen production, increase blood vessel development, and enhance nerve function.

The ThermiVa procedure takes only 30 to 45 minutes and can provide the following benefits after just one session:

  • Tighter, slimmer inner and outer labia
  • Improved nerve sensitivity
  • Tighter vaginal canal
  • Improved natural lubrication
  • Reduced urinary leakage or stress incontinence
  • Better sexual function and experience

For complete results, it is recommended that patients undergo a series of three to four ThermiVa sessions over a period of months. Many women experience the benefits of ThermiVa vaginal rejuvenation for an average of nine months, and up to two years in some cases. However, most patients may need to undergo follow-up sessions each year to maintain the amazing results of ThermiVa in the long term.

Best of all, there is absolutely no downtime after a ThermiVa session in Los Angeles, allowing women to return to their everyday activities, and even safely enjoy sex.

What is Femilift®?

FemiLift is a laser treatment that utilizes CO2 laser technology to deliver similar thermal effects as ThermiVa, effectively tightening the tissues and structures of the vagina. The FemiLift procedure is administered with a thin wand that rotates 360 degrees to accurately and fully treat the vaginal canal. However, it is not designed to treat the labia as well as ThermiVa can. Each FemiLift session typically takes no more than 30 minutes and can provide the following benefits:

  • Improved vaginal lubrication
  • Tighter, firmer internal tissues
  • Greater nerve sensitivity
  • Better bladder control
  • Improved sexual function and sensations
  • Reduced pain during intercourse

Unlike facial laser treatments, FemiLift delivers less fractional laser energy in order to prevent peeling or other painful effects. It is not uncommon for patients to experience a few days of discomfort, spotting or vaginal discharge as the surface layers of tissue treated by the FemiLift device slough away to reveal fresh, renewed tissue. Ultimately, the Femilift side effects are minor.

Which Vaginal Treatment Should You Choose?

It is important to note that both ThermiVa and FemiLift are effective, non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation procedures that help reverse the effects of age, childbirth, pregnancy, and hormones on a woman’s body. The results can be truly life-changing. With vaginal rejuvenation, women can finally reclaim confidence, comfort, and control.

When considering if ThermiVa or FemiLift is best for you, contact the skilled and compassionate urologists at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction to make an informed decision.

Our Los Angeles doctors have extensive experience and insight about both ThermiVa and FemiLift devices and can help you not only choose which vaginal rejuvenation treatment is ideal for your needs and goals, but also ensure that you receive the best care and treatment possible.

Learn more about traditional vaginal rejuvenation at Wikipedia.org.

In a nutshell: ThermiVa® vs. FemiLift®

  • Both ThermiVa and Femilift use energy to gently affect the tissues thermally and promote tightening, restructuring, and rejuvenation
  • Both treatments act fast and result in very noticeably improved sexual and urinary function as a result of vaginal tightening, improved nerve sensitivity, better lubrication, and tissue reconfiguration
  • ThermiVa can be applied to outer genitalia (labia) as well as inside of the vagina but FemiLift is designed for internal use only. ThermiVa promotes collagen and tissue regeneration by utilizing radiofrequency energy, while FemiLift uses low dose CO2 laser energy

Schedule Your Feminine Rejuvenation Appointment in LA

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction, our urology specialists are dedicated to providing the thorough care and expert treatment our patients deserve to feel comfortable in their bodies at any age. Our team has extensive experience and training with the most state-of-the-art treatments available in the U.S. To learn more about ThermiVa and FemiLift, and how these revolutionary devices can restore your natural lubrication, sexual satisfactions, and feminine health, please do not hesitate to schedule a vaginal rejuvenation consultation online or call our Beverly Hills office today.

Next, read The Best Solutions for Female Incontinence

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The Best Solutions for Female Incontinence

Female Overactive Bladder Beverly HillsEven with the most advanced medical care and preparation, childbirth is still a relatively traumatic event for a woman’s body. From the nine months leading up to the birthday to the months or even years afterward, a woman can expect to undergo dramatic changes and even injuries as a result of caring a newborn to term. While many women are able to recover fairly well within several weeks after giving birth, many are not so fortunate and struggle with chronic back pain, female incontinence, and pain during sex for a year or even longer before finally receiving the incontinence treatment they need.

As common as female incontinence may be among women with children, the majority of those suffering do not get the treatment they need and deserve. Many women either feel too embarrassed to seek help for issues stemming from childbirth or face misdiagnosis or improper treatment from the health care system. In a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine, women are often victims of “neglect, dismissal, and discrimination” when it comes to receiving expert medical care, particularly with regard to childbirth injuries and female incontinence.

At the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health, our skilled Los Angeles urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of female urological conditions. We understand the unique anatomy of the female pelvic structures and the impact that pregnancy and childbirth can have on those structures. We take a holistic approach to finding the best treatment method for each patient, incorporating acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy along with standard medical treatments, such as medication and surgery. To receive the advanced urological care you deserve for female incontinence treatment please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with our warm and compassionate team of doctors.

What are the Different Types of Female Incontinence?

Different mechanisms and underlying factors can result in unwanted loss or leakage of urine. Some factors include pregnancy and multiple childbirths, aging and menopause, neurological issues of the bladder, diabetes, etc.

Essentially, pregnancy and childbirth cause the muscles and tissue surrounding the uterus and bladder to become stretched and weakened, resulting in occasional leaks or accidents. Menopause and lack of female hormones can also result in reduces tissue support for the urethra.

The most common types of bladder incontinence women experience as a result of pregnancy or giving birth include:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is characterized by the sudden loss of urine as a result of certain activities, such as sneezing, running, coughing, laughing, or lifting something heavy, which puts pressure on the bladder. SUI usually becomes worse with menopause and frequent childbirth.
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB) or Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) is characterized by the sudden, unexpected urge to urinate frequently throughout the day and even at nighttime, disrupting sleep. Occasional, involuntary loss of urine is not uncommon.
  • Mixed Urinary Incontinence: A combination of both SUI and UUI.

Whether dealing with the occasional urine leakage accident or daily female incontinence issues that make life uncomfortable and embarrassing, your urologist can help determine the best solution to get a patient’s life back on track. Read more about urinary incontinence in women at WebMD.com.

Reliable Incontinence Treatment

At the Institute for Incontinence, Vaginal Reconstruction & Women’s Health in Beverly Hills, our board-certified urologists take a whole-body approach to ensuring that each patient achieves the best possible results. Our urologists can provide the following forms of female incontinence treatment:

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence:

  • Lifestyle Modifications – Dietary changes, scheduled bathroom use, and physical exercise such as Kegel exercises, to strengthen the core and pelvic muscles.
  • Medications – Prescription medications can calm bladder and pelvic muscles to relieve urge incontinence. Also, avoiding certain medications can help with incontinence.
  • Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and Massages – After giving birth, the pelvic muscles can become so tense that the patient loses control of her bladder and experiences pain when standing or having sex. Consistent massage can ease the tension that causes female incontinence and pain.
  • Acupuncture – Just as physical massage can release tight pelvic muscles, acupuncture can reduce the symptoms of female incontinence.

Medical Devices and Surgery

If conservative or holistic treatment options have not been successful for female incontinence treatment, our patient may benefit from the following:

  • Pessary – A device that can be inserted into the vagina or anus help support the pelvic floor muscles and the uterus, particularly in the event of vaginal prolapse.
  • Bulking Agent Injections – Collagen injections or silicone beads can be inserted around the urethra to help support the pelvic muscles that control the flow of urine.
  • Urethral Sling – Synthetic material or even grafts of the patient’s body tissue can be surgically placed around the neck of the bladder to help support the urethra and prevent stress incontinence. There are various types of slings that can be used to address each patient’s unique anatomy and needs.
  • Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS): By inserting a small needle on the inner aspect of ankle and then using low electrical currents to stimulate the Tibial nerve on a weekly basis for a period of time, PTNS can significantly improve or resolve OAB and urgency issues.
  • Sacral Nerve Stimulation – A small device, not unlike a pacemaker, can be used to deliver mild electrical impulses to the nerves that control the need to urinate. Mainly useful for refractory urgency or urge incontinence, sacral nerve stimulation help block these signals and even retrain the nerves to only signal when necessary. The stimulator device may be handheld or implanted under the skin along with the wires for the patient to control.
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repairs: Depending on the type of prolapse a number of open and minimally invasive (laparoscopic / robotic) procedures can be performed to place the female pelvic organs back into their anatomic location and provide support as much as possible.
  • Intravesical Botox® Injection: For patients with refractory urgency and urge incontinence (OAB) this option can provide significant relief and symptomatic control. Effects usually last for months and procedure can be repeated again as well.

In a Nutshell:

  • Definition: Female urinary incontinence involuntary and unwanted loss of urine (from few drops to a full bladder)
  • Types: Stress Incontinence (leakage with physical activity, coughs, sneezes, laughing, etc); Urge Incontinence (urgency to make to the bathroom and accidents if not make it in time); and Mixed Incontinence which is combination of both
  • Causes: Pregnancy and multiple vaginal deliveries, menopause, overactive bladder, neurological issues, etc
  • Treatments: multiple options based on the cause and type of incontinence. Lifestyle modification, medications (to relax the bladder), Pelvic floor physical therapy and exercises, Peripheral Tibial nerve stimulation, Surgical procedures (e.g. slings, pelvic organ prolapse repair, injection of Botox ® into the bladder, sacral nerve stimulator implantation, injection of urethral bulking agents, etc. depending on the condition)

Contact Our Female Urology Specialist Today

If you or someone you care about is struggling with urinary incontinence, whether are a result of recent childbirth or other factors, do not wait to get in touch with the urologists at the Institute of Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills. There is no need to silently suffer. Female incontinence treatment is available. Please call 310 307 3552 to get the treatment you need today.

Next, read Overcoming Interstitial Cystitis and Easing Pelvic Discomfort

The post The Best Solutions for Female Incontinence appeared first on IncontinenceDr.

Overcoming Interstitial Cystitis and Easing Pelvic Discomfort

Los Angeles Bladder IC UrologistsIf you are one of the more than 1 million women in the U.S. currently suffering from a painful condition called interstitial cystitis (IC), you may feel that relief is simply beyond your reach. Chronic discomfort and urinary urgency may dictate your daily activities and limit your goals. Often mistaken for other urinary and pelvic pain issues, finding an effective interstitial cystitis treatment can be difficult, but there are solutions available that really do work.

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills, our urology specialists are skilled at not only diagnosing and treating female urological issues, we take a holistic approach to ensuring total health and happiness, no matter what urologic condition a patient may have. We believe that women suffering from interstitial cystitis deserve the comprehensive care they need to live their lives fully, free of pelvic pain or discomfort.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

IC is a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder that affects the bladder, urinary tract, and immune system. While men and women can be afflicted with the disorder, it most commonly occurs in women. IC shares many of the same symptoms with other pelvic or urinary conditions, such as urinary incontinence or bladder infections, but the main diagnostic criteria (which can be different among patients) include:

  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary frequency
  • Small bladder capacity
  • Bladder and lower pelvic pain
  • Hunner’s ulcers (patches of inflammation on the bladder wall on cystoscopy)

The symptoms of IC can vary widely among patients, which is why it can be so difficult to diagnose. In more severe cases, patients may experience hard bladders as scarring from frequent inflammation and ulcers makes the tissue stiff and painful.  As such, the cause of interstitial cystitis is still unknown, but researchers suggest that interstitial cystitis may develop as a result of certain irritants in the urine, previous bladder trauma, mast cell activation (where substances are leased such as histamine), as well as hormone fluctuations. These events are ultimately thought to result in the loss of the surface barrier in the bladder against irritants (urine and other chemicals) resulting in more inflammation and scarring.

For more information about interstitial cystitis, visit WebMD.com.

Exploring Treatment Options

Since interstitial cystitis can have such a wide range of symptoms, there is no one treatment that works for every single patient. Depending on the patient and the symptoms, interstitial cystitis treatments usually take a combination approach in order to relieve urinary urgency, bladder pain, or urinary frequency. A trial and error approach is often needed to find out the best combination of interstitial cystitis treatments for each patient. The IC treatment combinations may include:

Medications

Many patients are fortunate to find relief with the help of pain relievers and other medicines, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Anti-depressant medications
  • Anti-histamines
  • Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Pentosan (Elmiron ®)
  • Bladder instillations (medication solutions administered in the bladder)

Lifestyle Modification, Physical Therapy

Certain lifestyle, diet, or behavioral factors may contribute to the painful symptoms of interstitial cystitis, and therefore, making adjustments can help relieve discomfort or pelvic pain. Coffee, other caffeinated drinks, potassium-rich foods, and acidic foods can worsen the irritation in the bladder and lead to frequent urination and exacerbated IC symptoms. Many patients in Los Angeles are able to successfully manage interstitial cystitis by modifying their diets and avoiding certain foods or ingredients that trigger their symptoms.

Additionally, some patients are able to “retrain” their bladders to increase the time between having to empty their bladders. By regulating when to drink liquids and when to avoid them, patients can effectively train their bladders to hold more liquid for longer periods of time.

Lastly, tight or weak pelvic muscles can contribute to interstitial cystitis and trigger spasms of pelvic pain. Physical therapy has been known to provide much-needed relief by stretching and strengthening the muscles that cramp around the bladder.

Neuromodulation

Electrical nerve stimulators can be used to relieve pain in the lower back, pelvis, and bladder. The devices work by internally or externally stimulating the nerves that connect to the source of the pain. Stimulating these nerves can help relieve pelvic pain and tension, at least temporarily.

Surgery

In many cases, treating the painful symptoms of IC can be enough to allow a patient to continue living life as comfortably and normally as possible.

In some patients cystoscopy and hydrodistention (looking in the bladder under sedation or anesthesia with a scope and expanding it with liquid) provides not only diagnostic clues but also improves symptoms for a period of time.

Another option that has recently become available is sacral nerve stimulation (Interstim®) which involves planting small leads in the back to modulate the sacral nerves with electric currents.

In severe cases, surgery, such as removing the bladder (cystectomy) may be recommended as the last resort option.

In order to have the best chance of successfully overcoming IC and pelvic pain, it is crucial for patients to work with a dedicated and highly skilled urologist who will take the time to create a personalized treatment plan. There can be a lot of trial and error involved in determining the most effective treatments, which is why Dr. Kia Michel and his team are so highly sought after. Each patient undergoes interstitial cystitis treatment based on their unique needs and goals with care and compassion.

Contact a Skilled Urologist in Los Angeles

At the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in LA, our urological specialists recognize the benefits of a whole-person approach when treating female incontinence. Using a combination of traditional Western medicine and holistic Eastern methods, our physicians provide a comprehensive care plan to give our patients effective relief from pelvic pain and discomfort. If you are interested in learning more about interstitial cystitis and potential treatment options that may work for you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us at 310.307.3552 today.

In a nutshell:

  • What is it? Interstitial cystitis is a chronic and usually painful condition that affects females more than males and can have widely different presentations in different patients. It is thought to ultimately result from inflammation of the bladder wall due to loss of surface barriers allowing urine and other irritants to affect the bladder. Some symptoms may include urinary frequency and the severe urge to void, burning or pain on urination, small bladder capacity, pain or discomfort in the bladder and pelvis region, etc.
  • Diagnosis: Usually IC is a diagnosis of exclusion (of other causes that can have the same symptoms) and is done by your urologist after a full evaluation.
  • Interstitial Cystitis Treatment: Due to the complexity of symptoms and different presentations among patients, interstitial cystitis treatment has to be tailored and often involves multiple modalities. Options include lifestyle modification and diets (avoidance of certain foods e.g. acidic or potassium-rich foods), medications (pain killers, anti-inflammatories, pentosan, anti-histamines, etc), surgical procedures (cystscopy, bladder distention, sacral nerve stimulator, etc).
  • IC can have a significant negative impact on quality of life and a thorough approach tailored to each patient by your urologist is the key to finding relief from pelvic pain and taking control of your life again.

Next, read Incontinence Before and After Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

The post Overcoming Interstitial Cystitis and Easing Pelvic Discomfort appeared first on IncontinenceDr.