Did you know that one in three women experience pelvic floor disorders? Pelvic floor muscles can weaken for a variety of reasons, which leads to urinary incontinence and other issues.
There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor; however, sometimes they aren’t enough. Another effective treatment option is electrical nerve stimulation.
In this guide, we’re going to explain how electrical stimulation works and when it’s needed. We’ll also look at the common causes of pelvic floor disorders. Let’s get started.
What Is Nerve Stimulation?
Electrical nerve stimulation treatments are used to strengthen the pelvic floor. It works by sending electrical currents to pelvic muscles and lower back. The treatment does not hurt, but you may feel a tightening in the pelvic area as the treatment contracts your muscles.
Most treatments last around 15 minutes, and they can be done twice a day for several weeks or months. However, your Urogyn can work with you on the right course of action for your needs.
There are a few different ways to deliver the electrical currents, including:
- An electrode is inserted into your anus or vagina
- Electrodes are placed on the skin near the vagina
- A small needle is inserted near the tibia nerve in your lower leg
- Electrodes are placed on your lower back
As the electrical currents stimulate your nerves through the electrodes, you will feel a gentle pulse. The process tightens and lifts your pelvic floor.
What Are Nerve Stimulation Treatments For?
As we said, this treatment is for strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles. However, it is especially effective at treating bladder incontinence. It can also remedy an overactive bladder caused by pelvic floor weakness.
There are two types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is when you can’t control your bladder during certain activities. For example, you may urinate when you laugh, jog, sneeze, or cough.
Urge incontinence, on the other hand, happens when urine leaks uncontrollably, or when you can’t get to the bathroom in time. It is usually sudden and sometimes includes wetting the bed. Urge incontinence often overlaps with an overactive bladder.
You may also have a mix of stress and urge incontinence. Either way, they are frustrating issues to deal with because they disrupt your day-to-day life.
Who Are Nerve Stimulation Treatments For?
Anyone who experiences incontinence can benefit from nerve stimulation treatments. It is effective for both stress and urge incontinence. However, it is especially helpful for women who have tried other treatment methods that haven’t been successful.
For example, if daily exercises at home aren’t enough to make your incontinence go away, you may want to try nerve stimulation.
You can also do nerve stimulation in conjunction with exercises at home or medication. Always consult your Urogynecologist to find the right treatment options for you.
Nerve Stimulation Treatment Risks
Another reason why nerve stimulation treatments are a popular option is that they are low-risk and don’t have many side effects.
The therapy sessions should never cause pain; however, you will feel the tightening of your pelvic and vaginal muscles. If your treatments include using a needle, you may feel slight pain while it’s being inserted.
Some women say the electrical stimulation causes vaginal tenderness. Other women have also reported infections, but the likelihood of a serious side-effect is rare. Overall, it is an effective treatment method that delivers great results with minimal risks.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders?
As we said, pelvic floor issues are common in women throughout different life stages. Many women experience it around pregnancy and childbirth.
If you give birth vaginally, your pelvic floor muscles become strained to support the size of the baby. Your risk of pelvic floor damage increases the longer you are in labor. Age, weight, and diet can also impact your outcome after giving birth.
Persistent urinary incontinence can also occur as women age and go through menopause. Hormone changes can weaken your pelvic muscles, which leads to involuntary urination when you laugh, cough, or sneeze.
Some more serious causes of pelvic floor disorders include tumors along the urinary tract. Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can also be a cause.
You can also experience temporary bladder incontinence when you have a urinary tract infection or constipation.
When Should You Consult a Urogynecologist?
For instance, if you can’t do regular activities, you should seek treatment. If it’s hard to get through social gatherings because you have to run to the bathroom, you should seek treatment.
A urogynecologist is the best specialist to see for your pelvic floor disorders. They focus on pelvic health along with obstetrics and gynecology. They will be able to provide the best treatment options for moderate and severe pelvic issues.
If you are looking for a urogynecologist in Houston, Texas, the Lotze team can help you. Our practice was established almost 20 years ago, and we specialize in treating female pelvic health and urinary incontinence.
We offer both medical and surgical treatments, and it’s our goal to find the treatment option that is customized for your specific situation. Our state-of-the-art technology provides the most in-depth assessments so we can focus on restoring your pelvic health.
Learn More About Nerve Stimulation
If incontinence is disrupting your daily life, you aren’t alone. Many women experience the frustrations of weak pelvic floor muscles, but the good news is that you can gain back your freedom at any age.
If you’re tired of doing kegel exercises at home and want to see faster results, nerve stimulation treatments may be right for you. It is a great low-risk way to strengthen your pelvic muscles and eliminate incontinence.
The Lotze team can create a customization course of action for you. Contact us today with any additional questions or to make an appointment.