A series of researches conducted in Australia revealed an elective caesarean will not prevent incontinence and maybe putting women’s and baby’s health at unnecessary risks.
Dr. Jenny King, an urogynaecologist at Westmead Hospital in Sidney, Australia doesn’t agree with the right of women to choose caesareans just to avoid pelvic floor problems and incontinence said:
“Evidence is mounting that repeat caesareans can cause harm and there are doubts that they provide the protection they were thought to provide”
One of Dr. Kings’ studies in 2004 projected caesareans could prevent 35% percent of urinary incontinence in women under 50, but the method of delivery made minimal difference to pelvic dysfunctions later in life.
Looking at the results of other studies, Dr. King concluded that there are greater risks of losing a baby from the complications of a caesarean than getting incontinence problems.
In the official results of another study to be presented, Professor Don Wilson, Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Otago University’s Dunedin School of Medicine, found 60 percent of women who had natural births experienced urinary incontinence, while 40 percent of women who had surgical births experienced urinary incontinence, which led to the conclusion that pregnancy itself was the cause of pelvic dysfunctions.
There are fears some recipients of the carers’ allowance will face cuts due to the Government tightening their belt.
Chief executive of the Carers Association, Enda Egan said: ‘It is critical the National Carers Strategy stays firmly on the Government’s agenda to allow the continuation of care in the home, now seriously under threat due to a lack of vital resources. Delaying the National Carers Strategy any longer is a major blow to family carers who save the State over €2.5bn each year.’
He told an Oireachtas committee that, based on assurances from Government, it was anticipated that the National Carers Strategy, already a year overdue, would be published by Christmas. Carers urgently need this strategy published to formally recognise their contribution as well as address financial and support services issues.
Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent said: ‘Failure to implement the strategy will result in a lost opportunity to address the needs of carers and protect their rights. Any reduction in funding will impact efforts to address the shortfall experienced by family carers, an already marginalised and isolated group.’
The results of a research conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre found collagen injections can help women who still experience stress urinary incontinence after surgery.
Lead researcher Dr. Phillip Zimmern said:
“The collagen injection is also a good alternative for those who cannot afford recovery time from surgery or are too medically unfit or frail to undergo a second surgical procedure to cure stress urinary incontinence.”
Collagen injected into the tissue surrounding the urethra, tightens the urethral sphincter and prevents urine from leaking.
The study monitored patients who received a periurethral collagen injection between January 2000 and December 2006, Dr Zimmern (lead researcher) and his team used a 3-D ultrasound to pin-point the exact location and volume of collagen remaining in the urethral walls several months after the first injection, to ascertain when a second injection was considered.
Where the ultrasound indicated normal collagen levels but the patient was still experiencing cases of stress incontinence, another therapy was suggested. Besides that, the study received a 93% positive feedback from patients who considered themselves clinically improved or cured.
Dr. Zimmern stated:
“Women need to know they do not have to live with stress urinary incontinence. Although collagen injections might not work for everyone, the option is out there, and patients need to communicate with their physicians that they are afflicted with the condition to discover what treatments are possible.”
There are several reasons why women can experience LAI or light adult incontinence, such as a leaky valve at the bottom of the bladder or a weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles, which can be a result from childbirth. In simple words, LAI occurs when the bladder stops working properly or a women loose control over it.
A research conducted in Ireland indicates that women tend to feel less confident when experiencing LAI, with 11% suffering from depression and one in ten experiencing problem with their sex lives.
However, the biggest concern from doctors and researchers is still the fact that many women are too embarrassed to talk about LAI. One in five women never sought or thought that medical help was available for their condition, while 60% of those women were worried that others will see them as old.
Dr David Lewis, a UK stress specialist and psychologist explained:
“Stress, anxiety and depression are clearly the unwelcome traveling companions for so many women with LAI. As a result their LAI is likely to be exacerbated and their self-image harmed by a health problem many associate with the stigma of aging. The only way to break out of this vicious circle is first by becoming more open and then by actively exploring the many treatments now available.”
With many treatments available and a success rate higher than 70%, women experiencing light adult incontinence should approach their GP or practice nurse to talk about it.
According to the research, half of the women who asked for help had built up the courage to talk about it reducing their feelings of stress and embarrassment.
The Royal College of Nursing have accredited the Carer Support Programmes run by St John Ambulance.
These free sessions are aiming to improve the welfare of carers and people they care for while enabling carers to meet others with similar experiences for mutual support and understanding.
Andrea Stone of the RCN accreditation unit said: ‘This is a new area of accreditation for the RCN, as the target audience is lay carers and not health care professionals.’
‘But the programmes are appropriate for accreditation in view of the RCN’s charitable role in the wider health and social community.’
St John Ambulance’s, Ross Young said: ‘As the nation’s leading first aid charity, care is at the very heart of what we do.’
‘The Carer Support Programmes are currently delivered at venues across Somerset.’
‘They are well received by carers and we have evidence that they are really helping them, not only to look after and nurse those they care for, but also in keeping fit and healthy themselves.’
During Ulrika Jonsson’s research in to Light Adult Incontinence (LAI), she discovered that she wasn’t the only woman that had experienced the condition.
The star talked to one woman, Louise Mills who shared also experienced LAI after childbirth but didn’t tell anyone about it at the time, because she was so embarassed.
Ulrika explains: ‘She didn’t seek help for many reasons. First, she thought this was to be expected after childbirth. As women we are trained to expect pain and suffering on a lifelong scale, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Second, she lacked the confidence to draw attention to the problem, either with friends or with her GP, out of sheer embarrassment.’
‘Louise’s symptoms became so bad that she began to plan her days around her condition – not going anywhere too far from a toilet; being careful not to do too much running, lifting or even walking and being scrupulous about personal hygiene.’
Ulrika has also kept quiet about her incontinence until now, it is a shame so many women feel embarassed by the condition because it is so common.
In a revealing article written for the Daily Mail, TV star Ulrika Jonsson reveals a very intimate health secret that embarrassed her for many years, LAI or light adult incontinence.
Mother of four Ulrika admits it that had never heard of such condition until recently, let alone talk about it; she always thought it was something you had to put up with after childbirth.
Ulrika reveals that she suffered light adult incontinence after three of four of her pregnancies and how she overcame the problem after talking to her GP and husband about it.
In Ulrika’s case simple pelvic floor exercises were enough to improve her condition, but each case is different, so she incites women to talk to their GP about LAI or light adult incontinence in order to get the appropriate treatment.
She also takes the opportunity to talk about the Always Envive Sense and Sensitivity Campaign, a campaign aimed to break the taboo around light adult incontinence and to get women talking.
For more info on this campaign visit www.alwaysenvive.co.uk.
The National Carers’ Association is outraged by the Government’s decision to shelve the National Carers Strategy because of the economic downturn.
The association says the move shows how the Government still under-values the carers who save the Exchequer massive sums of money by caring for their loved-ones.
They say ‘the Government is more intent on looking after people who can ‘fight the hardest and cry the loudest’ rather than those, like carers‘, who do not have the ability to go on strike in pursuit of their aims.’
This is a fair point and carers should not be overlooked especially since the government has made them a promise for financial help and support.
New York Times editor Dana Jennings writes each week about living with prostate cancer, and this week he has a few interesting points to make about the incontinence that often accompanies this condition.
Dana writes with remarkable frankness about his own experiences with incontinence and his need, albeit temporarily, for incontinence pants (or man-diapers as they are referred to by our American cousins).
There are moments of self-effacing humour “I still wear man-pads, having learned that bladder control can be ambushed by a laugh, a sneeze or an especially high curb” mixed in with sage advice “wherever I go, I still do urinary recon, scouting out the nearest men’s room”.
The conclusions are decidedly upbeat “we are not our incontinence … in the end it’s just a biomechanical flaw … and if I have to get up more often than other people to go to the bathroom – I can live with that”.
In the end, that philosophy is hard to fault.