InterStim Therapy for Bladder Control Problems in Women

InterStim Therapy for Bladder Control Problems in Women with woman holding her bladder next to a toilet

Discussing bladder control problems with friends, family, and physicians can make most people feel uncomfortable. Worrying about bladder control can keep some people from enjoying activities they love. More than 33 million Americans deal with overactive bladder (OAB), sometimes referred to as urge incontinence. A minimally invasive procedure called InterStim therapy is a treatment option available for OAB if other non-surgical options have not worked.

First, we will discuss bladder control signs and symptoms, then conservative treatments to try, and finally discuss Interstim therapy as an option to treat bladder control problems.

Symptoms of Bladder Control Problems

  • Frequent urges to urinate (urgency-frequency)
  • Inability to hold urine/leaking (urge incontinence)
  • Inability to urinate (complete urinary retention)
  • Incomplete bladder emptying (partial urinary retention)

Conservative Treatments for Bladder Control Problems

Conservative or non-surgical treatments for bladder control problems typically come first. Some of the conservative treatment options are:

  • Kegel exercises
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes

If these conservative, non-surgical treatments have not effectively treated the bladder control problems, your physician may discuss InterStim Therapy with you as an option.

What is InterStim Therapy?

InterStim Therapy, also known as sacral nerve stimulation or sacral neuromodulation, is an FDA-approved treatment for several different bladder control problems, most often for women. This therapy is completely reversible and uses a small implantable device to send mild electrical pulses to stimulate the sacral nerves. These nerves are located near the spinal cord and just above the tailbone and control the pelvic floor, urinary and anal sphincters, lower urinary tract, and colon.

InterStim Therapy can be used to treat the following bladder control problems:

  • Overactive bladder (OAB): The sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate
  • Urinary retention: A feeling of “fullness” with an inability to fully empty the bladder
  • Urinary incontinence: The involuntary leaking of urine due to the loss of bladder control
  • Bowel or Fecal incontinence: Stool unexpectedly leaking from the rectum due to the inability to control bowel movements

InterStim Therapy is not intended to treat issues like stress incontinence or urinary blockages. Also, it is not recommended for pregnant women, those with a pacemaker, or diabetic patients.

How Does InterStim Therapy Work?

The sacral nerves control the bladder and are located near the tailbone. When these nerves do not communicate effectively with the brain, normal bladder function is disrupted. InterStim Therapy provides stimulation to these nerves called neurostimulation to communicate with the brain for increased bladder control. Neurostimulation is a reversible treatment that can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device.

How is the InterStim Therapy Device Inserted?

Before the InterStim Therapy device that generates the electrical pulses is surgically implanted, the patient will have a trial period to ensure the therapy will reduce bladder control symptoms. This is the first phase of the two-phase procedure and typically takes 1 to 3 weeks. This trial period determines if InterStim Therapy is right for you. With both phases of the process, you can go home the same day but need a driver.

The trial phase takes place in a medical office or operating room. The doctor numbs a small area near the tailbone and inserts a thin, flexible needle attached to a wire placed near the sacral nerves. Once the electrical stimulation starts, a comfortable pulsing or tingling sensation is sent to the vagina or rectal regions.

An external battery is then placed on a belt that is connected to the testing wire. A handheld remote control can then adjust the level of desired stimulation. During the first phase, your doctor may ask you to keep a bladder diary to track daily urinary habits. It is essential to abstain from sexual and strenuous activity to ensure the wires stay in place during this time. The incision sites should also remain dry and the wires free from potential entanglement.

The first phase of the procedure allows you to try neurostimulation to see if it is right for you without making a long-term commitment. Suppose your symptoms are significantly reduced or eliminated during the testing period. In that case, you may benefit from long-term use of sacral nerve stimulation, and the second stage of the procedure is performed.  A permanent battery is implanted in the upper part of the buttock and is similar to a heart pacemaker’s size. Most all normal activities can be resumed within two weeks after this surgery.

What Are the Risks of InterStim Therapy?

As with any minimally invasive procedure, there may be risks, which could include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Continued bladder control problems

The good news is that if, for any reason, the InterStim Therapy device can be shut off or completely removed. It is essential to share all health concerns and intentions with your doctor to determine if the device needs to be turned off. For example, if you become pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, the InterStim device would need to be shut off.

For even more information, visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2672997/

InterStim Therapy for bladder control problems is not suitable for everyone. There are many alternate options to help manage OAB, urge incontinence, bowel or fecal incontinence, or any other symptom you are experiencing. Personally Delivered carries a wide variety of incontinence products to help with bladder and bowel control. If you need assistance choosing what incontinence products are right for your unique needs, our friendly and knowledgeable Product Experts are here to guide you through the purchasing experience. Give us a call today. You’ll be happy you did!

Popular Bladder Control Products for Women

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The Importance of Being Your Own Health Advocate

wworking on laptop and woman on phone writing notes at deskoman in wheelchair

Health care providers and hospitals have the best intentions in mind; however, medical errors do occur. If you feel something is wrong, it is crucial to be your own health advocate and speak up. Bringing attention to a potential issue could prevent a future error with another patient. Meena Dhanjal Outlaw suffered a spinal cord injury over 20 years ago that left her significantly paralyzed. Here, she speaks about the importance of being your own health advocate.

All Doctors Are Not Created Equal

When I had my spinal cord injury seventeen years ago, it was evident that the type of medical attention I need is by doctors who understand a spinal cord injury. I lived far away from the rehabilitation facility that practically took care of my needs, so I sought a general physician close to home. Unfortunately, I found that she was not well-versed in treating patients with spinal cord injuries,

I could go to my general physician for common colds and other minor issues. However, I realized she didn’t understand how my body functioned after a spinal cord injury.

For example, every time I had to give a urine sample, she would note that there was bacteria in my urine and instantly say, ‘You have a urinary tract infection.’ and give me a prescription for antibiotics.  I already knew from the specialized doctors I had seen thus far that I would only need an antibiotic if I had a fever or unexpected bladder accidents. So to avoid conflict with the doctor, I just never filled the prescription.

It wasn’t easy at times, but if I didn’t speak up for myself, then who will?

Pay Attention to Your Body and Ask Questions

Doctor Discussing Medication with his patient as they sit next to one anotherAt one point, I had to call my surgeon when I experienced a post-op problem. The surgeon had placed a port under my shoulder to provide easier access to the type of transfusion that will successfully treat the neuromuscular disease I have in addition to my spinal cord injury, which is called Myasthenia Gravis.

I knew there was a problem, considering the amount of blood oozing from where the incision had been made to place the catheter. The nurse in post-op knew that they had missed a stitch. After looking at the wound, the doctor didn’t think it was necessary to put in an extra stitch.

I was in pain the entire weekend after the surgery and felt I was consuming way too much over-the-counter pain medication.

Upon going for my second transfusion, I mentioned to the doctor that I was still in a lot of pain. He dismissed my pain, told me I had a small clot, and redressed the area.

Unfortunately, I felt I couldn’t speak up for myself at that time. However, since then, I spoke with my neurologist, who recommended pain medication. In addition, the doctors will now be keeping a closer eye on this area since I have several more treatments there.

If You are Concerned, Speak Up for Yourself

Self-advocacy isn’t always getting the result you think is necessary for you. Instead, it’s about not being afraid to speak up when necessary. Many people with a disability feel they cannot speak up for themselves because they don’t want to offend the doctor and possibly get more neglectful care.

I look back and wonder if I had spoken up at the time, would that surgeon continue to dismiss me or would I have had a weekend free of pain?

Take Charge and Educate Yourself – Be Your Own Health Advocate

older woman sitting in a chair and reading a book

The best form of defense for me as a woman with a spinal cord injury was to educate myself about my own condition. This helped me better take action over my situation and prevent specific problems.

For example, if I took the antibiotics every time the general physician prescribed them to me, my body could’ve become immune to antibiotic treatment. At that point of severity, the only way to treat a UTI would be intravenously in a hospital with a much stronger dose of antibiotics.

Today, I have a general physician who listens to me and is well-versed in treating patients with Myasthenia Gravis and spinal cord injuries. While visiting her means a longer drive, it’s worth it to me because her care is so important.

So to recap:

  • Don’t be afraid to speak up.
  • Become knowledgeable about your condition so that you know what to do even after leaving a physician with no treatment to remedy your issue.
  • Find a doctor that understands
  • Don’t be afraid of distance.
  • Know your rights as a patient.

For further information on becoming your own health advocate and your rights as a patient, check out this helpful link www.patientadvocate.org, and remember knowledge is power.

Becoming your own health advocate can take time, but as Meena explains in her story, that tremendously helped her. There are many struggles that can come along with a spinal cord injury such as:

  • Neurological issues that can lead to loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Poor coordination or balance when walking
  • Extreme back, neck, and head pain
  • Changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility

Being your own health advocate can help you feel more in control of your condition and have more confidence in the decisions you make for your medical care. When you take an active role in your health care, you are more likely to get the resources you need.

At Personally Delivered, we carry home delivery medical supplies for a wide variety of conditions. Whether you are looking for adult disposable diapers, incontinence pads, protective underwear, catheter supplies, or any other medical supplies, we have got you covered. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and caring Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist you in the purchasing process.

About the Author

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

On January 23, 2000, Meena suffered a spinal cord injury that left her a T12 paraplegic. She worked hard to grow and push past adversity and challenges and even went back to school for a four-year diploma in writing for teenagers and children.

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Cancer Screenings: Your Essential Guide

your essential guide to cancer screenings with a family walking on the beach

Cancer screenings can help detect cancer in the early stages or before you begin to have symptoms. By detecting cancer early, you may give yourself a better chance of surviving and thriving. Keeping up with preventive screenings that your doctor recommends is key to catching potential issues such as breast, cervical, prostate, endometrial, and colorectal cancer before they turn into something worse.

Who determines when to get screened?

Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve all Americans’ health by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Task Force members come from a wide array of medical-related fields. That history of experience can be from primary care, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics and gynecology, and nursing. This team rigorously reviews existing peer-reviewed evidence to make recommendations for screenings. This process can help primary care clinicians and patients decide whether a preventive service is right for a patient’s needs.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

The following cancer screening guidelines are for people who have an average risk for cancer. If you have an increased risk due to your family history, you may need screenings earlier or more often. It would be best to speak to your doctor to see what’s right for you.

Breast Cancer Screenings

two women holding pink ribbons showing their support of breast cancer screeningsYearly mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer’s early stages when it is easier to treat. The USPSTF recommends women to get mammograms at the following ages:

Ages 45 to 54: once every year

Ages 55 and older: once every other year

It is important to note that women with a heightened breast cancer risk should ask their doctors about the risks and benefits of an annual MRI and mammogram.

Cervical Cancer Screenings

The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix, which may turn into cancer. The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. The chance of being cured is very high when the Pap tests find cervical cancer early.

The USPSTF recommends women to get a Pap test at the following ages:

Ages 21 to 29: once every three years

Ages 30 to 65:

  • once every three years
  • an HPV test once every five years
  • or a Pap test and an HPV test once every five years

Women older than 65: Those with normal screenings and who do not have a high risk for cervical cancer may not need screening.

Colorectal Cancer Screenings

doctor in a lab testing cancer screening samplesThe American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends people with an average risk for colorectal cancer start regular cancer screenings at age 45. Simultaneously, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises beginning screening at age 50. Those with an increased risk for colorectal cancer due to family history may need to get cancer screenings at an earlier age.

Discuss with your doctor which of the following tests are recommended by the USPSTF:

Endometrial Cancer Screenings

anatomy of the female uterus when detecting endometrial cancer in cancer screeningsEndometrial cancer forms in the lining of the uterus. By early detection and surgical removal of the uterus, endometrial cancer is often cured. After reaching menopause, women who have abnormal bleeding or spotting should tell their doctors. Your doctor may order cancer screenings to help detect endometrial cancer.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

When men reach the ages of 55 to 69, the USPSTF recommends discussing the potential benefits and risks of prostate cancer screenings with their physicians to help make informed decisions. After the age of 70, the USPSTF advises against men getting screened.

At Personally Delivered, we hope your lifelong health journey never includes a cancer diagnosis. Whatever your age or medical history, maintaining an open and close relationship with your physician will help keep track of your long-term health.

Many of these types of cancers may require the use of catheters, incontinence products, and skin care needs. These may be a temporary need or one that is long-term. We carry a wide array of these home delivery medical supplies and can help you find the ones your doctor recommends that are right for you. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate Product Experts will help make your purchasing selection as easy as possible.

All recommendations for cancer screenings and more detailed information from the USPSTF can be found directly on their site.

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Bowel Incontinence in Men

two men smiling at one another for the bowel incontinence in men blog header

Bowel incontinence or fecal incontinence occurs when stool or gas unexpectedly leaks. Bowel incontinence can be as mild as unintentionally leaking stool when passing gas, to a full loss of controlling the bowels. Several contributing factors may cause bowel incontinence, and this condition can affect people of all ages, not just older men and women.

Common Causes of Bowel Incontinence in Men

Normal functioning of the rectum, anus, and nervous system are all required to maintain continence and hold stool from leaking.

Bowel incontinence in men is usually the result of a complex mixture of factors that contribute to a weakening of the muscles that control your sphincter, which is the ring of muscle that controls the opening and closing of the anus that helps hold stool and gas until it can be eliminated.

Some of the common causes of bowel incontinence include:

  • Constipation – Having three or fewer bowel movements in a single weak can significantly contribute to the weakening of the anus and intestines
  • Chronic diarrhea – When loose or watery bowel movements are experienced three or more times a day and last for more than a few days, severe constipation could signify a more serious underlying disease.
  • Prostate surgery – The first few weeks following prostate removal surgery (also known as prostatectomy), men may experience bowel incontinence due to the increased abdominal space with the loss of the prostate.
  • Anal sphincter muscle damage – If the ring of muscle that controls the opening and closing of the anus is damaged, involuntary stool leakage can happen.
  • Rectal prolapse – As a result of prolonged constipation or weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, rectal prolapse is when part of the rectum slips out of position and protrudes out of the anus.
  • Chronic laxative abuse – When a person becomes dependent on laxatives for a long time, the colon stops reacting and requires a larger dose to achieve a bowel movement. Internal organs can be damaged and lead to colon infections and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Nervous system disorders – Having a stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, or Multiple sclerosis can damage the nervous system and affect the nerves that sense stool in the rectum or the ability to control the anal sphincter.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea are all symptoms of IBS that can lead to bowel incontinence.

Possible Treatments for Bowel Incontinence in Men

Colace stool softenerSome treatments can help bowel incontinence in men. Treatment choice depends on the cause and severity of the disease as well as the person’s motivation and general health. Commonly, conservative measures are used together, and if appropriate, surgery is carried out.

  • Diet changes – Keeping a daily food and beverage journal can help keep track of what type of foods may be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist if needed.
  • Medications – Your doctor may prescribe or suggest over-the-counter medicines like bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) or loperamide (Imodium) if you have diarrhea. If you are constipated, stool softeners, laxatives, or fiber supplements (Metamucil or Citrucel) may improve your fecal incontinence by stimulating the colon to move stool.
  • Bowel retraining –  This type of treatment program includes daily training to help regulate bowel movements using diet, various techniques, and sometimes medication. The program will be different for everybody because each person responds differently. Your doctor will help you develop the best course of action that is suited for your unique needs.
  • Pelvic floor muscle strengthening – Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegel exercises). Through tightening and relaxing your pelvic area, anus, and rectum, this type of activity will help increase muscle strength and bowel and gas control.
  • Surgery – In extreme or unmanageable cases, surgery can be carried out to improve bowel incontinence. Sphincteroplasty is a procedure that reconnects any anal sphincter tears that may have occurred from a man’s genitals or urinary area. Other surgery might treat other medical conditions that affect bowel incontinence, such as rectal prolapse or hemorrhoids.

Complications of Bowel Incontinence

man sitting on the edge of the bed not feeling well and holding his head in his handBowel Incontinence or fecal incontinence can be very stressful for those who experience it. It can cause emotional distress as well as skin irritation.

Emotional distress – When you lose control over your bodily functions, it can be embarrassing, frustrating, and depressing. This loss of dignity can lead to avoidance of social interaction and trying to hide the condition.

Skin irritation – When there is repeated contact with incontinence products such as toilet paper and personal care wipes, the sensitive and delicate perineal tissue around the anus can become irritated. This constant contact can lead to itching, pain, rashes, or potentially sores such as ulcers that require medical attention.

Managing Life with Bowel Incontinence

aloe vesta and sensi-care readiness essentials supplies for managing bowel incontinence in menYou can help manage bowel incontinence by always making sure to be well-stocked on bowel incontinence supplies, whether you are home or heading out. By following the bowel retraining program and using the toilet before you leave home, you can help lessen or possibly eliminate an embarrassing episode. You can also make sure you carry your medications, incontinence supplies, fecal deodorants, and a change of clothes with you.

The perineal tissue around the anus is sensitive and delicate.  Therefore, anal discomfort, itching, and irritation can be common. Here are some ways to help manage these symptoms:

Bowel incontinence in men is more common than you may think. You do not have to suffer in silence. Finding the right incontinence products for men and developing a plan with your doctor can help you overcome this condition and lead a life of dignity.

For questions about any of the bowel or fecal incontinence products or other incontinence supplies we carry, please give us a call or complete our Contact Us form. One of our Product Experts will be happy to help and guide you through your purchasing experience.

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Having a Spinal Cord Injury and Regaining Independence

man in wheelchair smiling and raising his fist in success

A spinal cord injury is an often disabling medical condition caused by damage to the spinal cord or the nerves near the end of the spinal cord. Depending on the location of the injury on the spine, paralysis can occur in some if not all parts of the body. The higher the injury location on the spine, the more assistance a person most likely will need.

Becoming disabled after a spinal cord injury can truly be devastating. However, many individuals – even with high levels of paralysis, such as quadriplegics, go on to be extremely successful and productive members of society. Many also have relationships, including marriage and children.

Managing Life at Home After a Spinal Cord Injury

The biggest concern for anyone who has a spinal cord injury is how they will manage it. This thought happens most often in the early stages of their recovery. When I had my spinal cord injury, I couldn’t do much for myself either. After having a back fusion surgery where rods were surgically placed all the way down my spine, I had to wear a TSO cast that encased my entire upper torso. It gave time for the rods to fuse with my spine. During this time, I was under many restrictions, such as when I wasn’t wearing it, I had to remain in bed and could not even turn myself. After twelve weeks, I was completely free from wearing this cast, but I still couldn’t lift more than five pounds.

As much as I appreciated all this attention to detail, my biggest concern was that I had infant children. My youngest was a newborn who had never been less than five pounds. So, I had no choice but to hire help. It was the only way I was going to have any chance of working on myself. I hired a nanny to live with me to take care of the baby at night. During the day, they went to daycare.

I was in a rental wheelchair when I went home from rehab. I was also sleeping in a hospital bed until the orthopedic surgeon felt it was safe for me to sleep in my own bed. Before I had left rehab, I had hired a home health aid. She wasn’t trained in personal care, such as bladder and bowel incontinence, but she was willing to learn, so the rehab facility taught her. She helped me shower, take care of my bathroom needs at home, dressed me, and helped me into my wheelchair. Once I was in the wheelchair, I was at least mobile.

Then, I learned to drive. I received assistance from DARS, now known as Texas Workforce. They helped pay for the hand controls installed in my car and the lessons to learn how to drive a modified vehicle.

Going Back to Work After a Spinal Cord Injury

woman in a wheelchair working on a computerLater on, when I chose to go back to college, Texas Workforce helped pay for courses and books that I needed. When I got further education to write for teenagers and children, they continued to help me achieve my ultimate goal to be a full-time writer. I chose to work from home, so with their help, I had my office set up with adaptive equipment, including an ‘uplift desk.’ There was no excuse for me to not be productive, so I went to work.

Going back to work after my spinal cord injury was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself, along with learning to drive. The sense of independence I felt was heaven sent. Within months, my confidence as a writer grew. With continuous physical therapy, I also gained upper body strength to take care of my own needs.

I wasn’t shy about seeking psychological help either. I was grieving the loss of my legs and how my spinal cord injury affected my life after that. Everything changed for me, and I could either sink or swim.

Regaining Independence After My Spinal Cord Injury

After my youngest reached four years old, I let go of the nanny. That had been one of the many goals I had set for myself. So from that point on, I was taking care of my two children alone.

I’ve always said that life is about choices, but my thought process became warped when I had my injury. Eventually, I gained hope, which ultimately gave me the strength to keep moving forward. I went on to marry again and have another child. Through all of this, I have learned I needed no help this time around caring for my third child.

What I Learned on My Journey to Independence

group with disabilities from spinal cord injury sharing a beer and playing gamesWhat I have learned the most throughout my self-discovery journey is that there are some really nice people in the world. One of them I married, and the others are my closest friends. I also found that the more I do, the more respect I gain from those who don’t quite understand my disability from my spinal cord injury. However, what they see is a self-sufficient, strong, confident mother of three who happens to be in a wheelchair.

If you or someone you care for has a disability due to a spinal cord injury or any other medical condition, some of the mobility and adaptive equipment and incontinence products we carry may help in everyday life. For more resources, help to find support, and to read other’s stories, the United Spinal Association is a great place to start.

If you have any questions or need more information on the home delivery medical supplies we offer, our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist.

About the Author

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

On January 23, 2000, Meena suffered a spinal cord injury that left her a T12 paraplegic. She worked hard to grow and push past adversity and challenges and even went back to school for a four-year diploma in writing for teenagers and children.

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Take Control of Your Pelvic Floor Disorder

Woman breathing in the fresh air outside and smiling

Whether it’s from straining, childbirth, age, an injury, or surgery, pelvic floor disorder can feel physically painful and emotionally isolating. Conditions like urinary and fecal incontinence are more common than you might think, and they’re very treatable. Here are some of the common ways you can start to take control of your pelvic floor disorder!

Pelvic Floor Issues

Roughly one in three women is affected by pelvic floor disorders leading to urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, or pelvic discomfort. It is not uncommon for women with pelvic floor disorders to experience frequent urinary tract infections.

Common Conditions Related to Pelvic Floor Disorder

  • Woman holding her pelvic region in painFrequent or urgent urination
  • Leaking urine when laughing or coughing
  • Painful urination
  • Pressure and pain in your vagina, bladder, or rectum
  • Vaginal bulging (pelvic muscles weaken, causing the pelvic organs to drop into the vagina, causing a bulge)

Some of the more advanced conditions are:

  • Fecal incontinence – leakage of feces due to the inability to control bowel movements
  • Overactive bladder – the urge to urinate becomes challenging to control, causing leakage during both day and night
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction – the inability to relax the pelvic floor muscles for natural bowel movements often leading to constipation, urge incontinence (sudden need to urinate), and pain
  • Pelvic organ prolapse – the pelvic muscles cannot support the organs in the pelvic region
  • Rectovaginal fistula – an abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina causing leakage of bowel into the vagina
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections – persistent infections in the kidneys, bladder, or urethra
  • Urethral diverticulum – a pouch that forms along the urethra, often filling with urine and leading to infection
  • Urinary incontinence – involuntary leakage of urine
  • Urinary retention – the inability to fully empty the bladder
  • Vaginal mesh complications – any abnormality resulting from placement of mesh after transvaginal surgery such as bleeding, infection, or pain
  • Vesicovaginal fistula– an abnormal connection between the vagina and bladder causing involuntary urine leakage

Treating Pelvic Floor Disorder with Physical Therapy

When the pelvic floor muscles are too tight or too weak, they can cause incontinence or even pain. Physical therapy is one of the ways to take charge of your pelvic health. Specially trained physical therapists can provide pelvic floor dysfunction treatments, including bowel and bladder dysfunction, pelvic pain, abdominal/ organ conditions, pelvic bones, hip pain, and low back/sacral and coccygeal disorders.

Using the latest technology advances, these physical therapists can apply targeted rehabilitative techniques, including pelvic floor therapy, computerized biofeedback, and strengthening and relaxation techniques. Their goal is to help women with pelvic floor disorders to relieve their discomfort and improve their daily living quality. Pelvic physical therapy is covered by insurance, although coverage may vary.

You may be trained to practice pelvic floor exercises regularly at home to improve your bladder or bowel control, reduce the risk of prolapse, and increase your quality of life. Here, the pelvic floor and how to exercise these muscles is explained:

Treating Pelvic Floor Disorder with Medication

Person dispensing medication from a bottle into the palm of their handThe goal of treatment for pelvic floor disorder is to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. After your doctor cannot identify the specific cause, your treatment plan’s focus will be managing the symptoms and pain.

Your doctor may recommend several medications to treat your condition, such as:

  • Pain relievers – Over-the-counter pain remedies such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin may provide partial relief from your pelvic pain. However, a prescription pain reliever may be necessary. Pain medication alone, however, rarely solves the problem of chronic pain.
  • Antibiotics – If your pelvic pain stems from an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
  • Hormone treatments – If pelvic pain is experienced simultaneously with your menstrual cycle, the pain may be related to the hormonal changes that control menstruation and ovulation. Doctors often prescribe hormonal medications or birth control methods to manage the pain.
  • Antidepressants – Even if symptoms of depression are not present, your doctor may opt to treat your pelvic main with an antidepressant. Some types of antidepressants can be helpful for chronic pain and have pain-relieving effects.

Treating Pelvic Floor Disorder with Surgery

Doctor performing pelvic floor surgeryIf non-surgical therapies do not resolve your pelvic floor disorder symptoms, or for more complex pelvic organ prolapse conditions, robotic-assisted surgery may be recommended. Usually, surgery is recommended after more conservative options have been exhausted.

  • Transvaginal – Implanted surgical mesh made of synthetic polypropylene reinforces the weakened vaginal wall.
  • Open abdominal – A large incision is made either from the belly button down to the upper pelvic zone or from the outer left pelvic area across the abdomen to the outer right pelvic area.
  • Laparoscopic – This minimally invasive technique uses a thin, flexible tube with a video camera on the end that is inserted through tiny incisions near the belly button. The uterus is removed through the tube or vagina. This type of procedure provides improved recovery with less pain, less bleeding, and faster recovery.
  • Robotic-Assisted
    • Hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus
    • Sacrocollpopexy – Reconstructive surgery to repair vaginal prolapse
    • Sacral Urethropexy – Correcting the uterine prolapse following a hysterectomy

Many underlying issues may be causing your pelvic floor disorder, but we hope you’ve found this information about possible treatments helpful. Nothing is more important than your health. If you have any questions about the incontinence supplies or catheters we offer to help manage your symptoms, give us a call, and one of our Product Experts will be happy to help guide you through your purchasing experience.

Popular Incontinence and Catheter Supplies

Prevail Women's Overnight Disposable Underwear

Prevail Womens Overnight Underwear

Tranquility Personal Care Pads

Tranquility overnight personal care pads

Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Catheter Set for Women

Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Catheter Set for Women

GentleCath Glide Female Catheter

ConvaTec Gentlecath Glide female catheter
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Are You Regaining Health Insurance Coverage This Year?

are you regaining health insurance coverage blog header

Millions of people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted their health insurance coverage through their employer.  Any economic shock such as this that destroys jobs also destroys access to health insurance coverage. Due to the costs of medical supplies, surgeries, dental procedures, and prescription drugs, many have been living without health insurance coverage.

If you or someone you know are regaining health insurance coverage, we would like to introduce you to our sister company and ConvaTec subsidiary, 180 Medical. Every day, 180 Medical helps people from all paths of life turn the quality of their lives around. They are the experts in providing you with the best insurance-covered medical supplies based on your insurance plan’s benefits.

Who is 180 Medical?

180 medical corporate logo

Whereas Personally Delivered works directly with the customer to help get your home delivery medical supplies, 180 Medical is the reimbursement side of our company and works with the physicians and insurance provider. They put a great deal of effort into getting the highest quality catheters, ostomy supplies, and incontinence products you require. They take care of shipping your medical supplies discreetly to your door and file your insurance claims for you at no charge.

The “180 Way”

Before we get into how 180 Medical works, we would like to share a bit about their standards. This will help assure you that you are working with a genuine team dedicated to providing the very best service.

180 Medical operates by a set of standards that are called the “180 Way.” These include five main points:

  1. Being specialists at what they do.
  2. Genuinely offing others compassion.
  3. Providing top tier service to their customers.
  4. Operating with integrity in every interaction.
  5. Giving education to make sure every customer is healthy and well-informed.

The 180 Medical Process

180 Medical makes the process of obtaining the medical supplies you need as easy and effortless as possible. Here are the three steps for getting started with 180 Medical:

Step 1: Contact 180 Medical

woman taking health insurance coverage notes while on the phone in front of a computerPlease speak to your Personally Delivered Product Advisor or complete our Contact Us form. They will put you in touch with a friendly, trained 180 Medical Specialist. You will need to be prepared with a few pieces of information to get things started quickly.

  • Your insurance information
  • Your physician’s name and phone number
  • The medical supplies that you are requiring

Step 2: Confirmation & Health Insurance Coverage

The 180 Medical Specialist will discuss details with you to ensure they have everything right for your specific needs. They will verify your insurance and discuss your health insurance coverage and allowable amounts, as well as any out-of-pocket costs. Your doctor’s plan of care will also be addressed, and your product order placed. They will let you know when to expect your first order and asked how you would prefer to receive future medical supply orders.

The 180 Medical Specialist will take care of all necessary documentation and required authorizations, including any prescriptions. At no charge to you, they will handle all direct billing to your insurance company, too!

Step 3: Relax!

woman relaxing on a chair and reading a bookAfter your order is complete, tracking information will be sent to you via email to let you know exactly when you will be receiving your medical supplies. You can expect to receive a call from your Specialist to make sure you received everything you needed and are happy with the service.

Providing top tier service to their customers is a part of the “180 Way”, so following up is an essential part of the process.

So there you have it! 180 Medical Specialists take extensive training, so you can count on them to take excellent care of your needs. Even if it takes extra time or effort on their part, you can rest assured that they will always do what’s right. You can sit back and relax, knowing you are in the best hands.

We at Personally Delivered are proud to be connected to 180 Medical. We will help you get in touch with a Specialist if you have regained health insurance coverage and need assistance. As always, if you ever need additional quantities or medical supplies that are not covered by insurance, we are here to help.

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Managing Incontinence Leaks After Pregnancy

woman crossing her legs and hands over her bladder to hold urine in
For many women who have recently given birth, urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is a common issue that can continue for days, months, or even years after childbirth. Incontinence can be a personal and challenging problem, especially for young mothers who may be overwhelmed with their new parental role and physically active with their new baby. We understand that incontinence can affect a patient’s life in multiple ways. Many people have difficulty managing their symptoms while also participating in daily activities such as errands, exercise, and social activities.

Incontinence After Pregnancy

Often urinary incontinence starts during pregnancy and can grow in severity following birth. Recent studies have found that women who deliver by Caesarean section are far less likely to have severe urinary incontinence following birth than those who deliver vaginally. Several studies show that the group with the most significant risk of developing incontinence after pregnancy are obese women over 35. Overall, women who deliver their babies naturally have a 40% chance of developing urinary incontinence. Incontinence after pregnancy is most generally caused by a weakening of the bladder and pelvis muscles during childbirth. Following childbirth, the uterus will begin to shrink back to its original size by repeatedly compressing, putting a strain on the bladder.

Most women experience incontinence for three months after delivery; however, it is normal to experience minor incontinence one year after giving birth. In some rarer causes, women can experience incontinence even eight years after giving birth. However, only 2% of these women say it is a significant problem.  The length of time a woman experiences incontinence after giving birth varies from case to case, although some factors can influence the duration of a women’s recovery time. Age, multiparity (number of children born at once), and birth method all are factors that can affect the likelihood of developing incontinence. However, the most definitive warning sign of long-lasting symptoms are women experiencing stress incontinence three months after their first delivery.

Tips for Managing Incontinence After Pregnancy Leaks

Luckily, there are steps to reduce the likelihood of long-lasting incontinence after pregnancy and ways to manage current symptoms. Women who are experiencing urinary incontinence due to childbirth may want to consider trying the following exercises and life changes:

Practice Kegels

While this tip may seem obvious for most women, it would be an oversight to underestimate the importance of kegerator exercises to manage incontinence. Kegels are an exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which support the small intensities, uterus, rectum, and bladder. The most doctor recommended Kegel regiment is to practice three sets of 30 Kegels a day.

How to Correctly do Kegel Exercises

Try Bladder Training

Many people believe that the way to strengthen the bladder is to wait a long time between bathroom breaks or “hold” in their urine. The opposite, in fact, is true. To strengthen the bladder, you must start by attempting to pee every 30 minutes and gradually increase the time between bathroom visits.

woman holding a roll of toilet paper as she walks to the toilet

Consider Using Female Catheters

Female catheters are an excellent option for women experiencing incontinence after pregnancy. Female catheters can help retrain the bladder to fill and empty at regular times throughout the day. While male catheters are typically 16-inches in length, female catheters are 6 to 8 inches long though they can range down to smaller sizes.  Those who are prescribed self-catheterization should follow their doctor’s instructions for how frequently to cath.

421571 gentlecath glide female catheter

Avoid Constipation

For the first few months after giving birth, many women experience mild to severe constipation. Like many other medical ailments, frequently, one symptom can impact another. When dealing with incontinence after pregnancy, it is essential to manage constipation to the best of your abilities as full bowels put additional pressure on the bladder. To avoid constipation, eat high-fiber foods and exercise frequently.

 

Stay Clear of Bladder Irritants

It is recommended that those with incontinence look at their diets to see if there are foods that could worsen symptoms. Some food items that can irritate the bladder are coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, soda, and various citrus fruits. If the bladder is irritated, stopping unexpected leaks can become more difficult. It is important not to avoid drinking water when battling incontinence. It is common to avoid drinking water to help prevent urine leaks; however, this may increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and dehydration.

We carry thousands of home delivery medical supplies at Personally Delivered that can help with all types of incontinence. We know that it can be overwhelming choosing products that are right for your unique needs. That’s why we have Product Experts to help guide you through the decision-making process to make it easier for you.

For any questions on the incontinence related products we carry, or any of the other medical supplies we offer, give us a call and we will be glad to help.

Popular Female Incontinence Products

GentleCath Glide Female Catheter

ConvaTec Gentlecath Glide female catheter

Prevail Overnight Bladder Control Pad

prevail overnight bladder control incontinence pads

Hollister VaPro Plus Pocket Female Catheter

hollister vapro female pocket catheter

Personally Delivered Daytime Protective Underwear

personally delivered daytime protective incontinence underwear
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Urinary Incontinence and Thought Control

woman in glasses looking out the window in deep thought

There is a common belief that when one is attempting to relieve themselves but cannot, they should think of running water. The thought is that the sounds of a waterfall or river will help your body begin to urinate. If this is true, should people suffering from urinary incontinence avoid specific thoughts to help prevent unexpected urination?

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is defined as a loss of bladder control and the inability to control urination. Though this definition is all-encompassing, there are many different types of urinary incontinence.

Different Types of Incontinence

Stress incontinence: A leak in urine due to movement or activity such as laughing, sneezing, running, or lifting. 

Urge incontinence: A form of incontinence that happens after a strong, sudden urge to urinate that someone is unable to delay. 

Overflow incontinence: Incontinence that occurs when a weak bladder is past full. While the person often feels no need to urinate, they can begin leaking urine.  

Functional incontinence: A type of incontinence that is defined by a person aware they need to urinate, but because of a physical or mental disability, they are unable to reach the bathroom. 

Mixed incontinence: As the name suggests, mixed incontinence is usually a combination of two other forms of incontinence. Most often, mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Not all these types of incontinence have the same causes or can be treated with the same medications. With that in mind, studies on all forms of incontinence have shown no correlation between incontinence being triggered by specific thoughts. However, one mental effect of urinary incontinence that influences all these groups is its toll on mental health.

Urinary Incontinence and Mental Health

Studies show that those who suffer from urinary incontinence are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Frequently, those dealing with incontinence can also experience shame and a drop in self-confidence due to their condition. Urinary incontinence can make it difficult to go to social outings or stressful to be away from your home for extended periods. People who once held very social lives will often reject attending social gatherings for fear of having an accident at a public event. This behavior can take a toll on mental health, and it is crucial to seek help from a mental health professional counselor.

At Personally Delivered, we know the difficulties those dealing with urinary incontinence face. Not only daily stress but also the feeling that you can’t participate in all of the activities you love. With our array of catheter supplies, protective underwear, liners, and pads, we hope to give you back a sense of normalcy and self-confidence. 

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Top 10 Incontinence Products for Seniors

elderly man grinning at a woman on a swing

According to research, more than 50% of elderly Americans suffer from incontinence, whether it be bladder or bowel related. Incontinence is not only a physical medical condition; it can also affect people mentally, emotionally, and financially. The cost of incontinence products for seniors can add up, and you could be caught off guard if you aren’t prepared.

We have compiled a list of what we think are the ten most useful incontinence products for seniors. Consider some or all of these incontinence supplies the next time you shop for yourself or a loved one to keep ample inventory levels on hand.

1. Briefs/Diapers

Attends Premier Briefs in a bag available in sizes medium to extra largeBecause briefs or diapers can be changed without removing all clothing articles, they are a preferred choice by many seniors. Briefs are for those needing a more secure and absorbent option and sometimes referred to as adult diapers. These one-piece incontinence garments feature re-fastenable tabs that make readjustment easy for a tight fit. Incontinence briefs also come in daytime or nighttime absorbencies depending on what level is needed. The Attends Premier Brief is an excellent incontinence product for seniors that offers both daytime and overnight protection.

2. Protective Underwear or Pull-Ups

Protective briefs or pull-ups are one-piece garments made to be easily pulled on and off and are an excellent incontinence product for seniors that are looking for more traditional and discreet protection. Offered in absorbencies for both day and night protection, protective underwear also provides odor control and moisture-wicking to remain comfortable and dry.

3. Underpads/Bed Pads/Chux

Available in various colors, materials, designs, and absorbency levels, underpads, bed pads, or chux, provide the extra protection needed to absorb leakage, reduce odors, and control bacteria. Instead of doubling up on protective underwear and mattress covers, an underpad can deliver the required absorbency on its own. Underpads can also be used to protect furniture, car seats, and even as pet potty training pads.

4. Liners/Pads

Incontinence pads and liners in a collageLiners, panty liners, or pads are placed inside regular underwear with their adhesive strip and are used for light to moderate urinary incontinence. Liners and pads are an economical incontinence product for seniors that do not have heavy leakage. On the other hand, booster pads are added to a disposable brief for an added layer of protection for those with moderate to heavy incontinence.

5. Fecal Pads

Fecal incontinence padsThe Butterfly Body Patch by Attends is an excellent fecal incontinence pad or bowel incontinence pads are designed for those who suffer from Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL) and are looking for a bowel leakage product that absorbs fluids and odors while being discreet. Many people are unaware of such a product and resort to using a regular bladder pad for bowel incontinence protection. Those with fecal incontinence require a disposable bowel leakage product, as the use of washable products is not an option. Fecal or bowel incontinence pads such as the Butterfly Body Patch, are specifically shaped to fit in and around the buttocks and are designed to absorb liquids and hold the stool in place. These bowel incontinence products are not as absorbent as traditional incontinence pads, so they hold less fluid.

6. Mattress Cover

Using a mattress cover is another incontinence product for seniors that protects the mattress from incontinence leaks, accidental spills, and unwanted stains. Mattress covers such as the Salk Prima Vinyl Mattress Cover, fit just like a fitted bed sheet, covering the entire mattress, and can also protect against bacteria and some allergens. Mattress protectors may also defend against bacteria and some allergens. Because mattress covers are made of water-resistant materials, they extend the mattress’s life. This handy feature can also protect your health. When fluids enter the mattress’s core, bacteria breeds, and dust mites thrive in these warm, damp environments. Investing in a quality mattress cover as one of the top incontinence products for seniors can be beneficial for many reasons.

7. Skin Care

The entire area of the body covered by an incontinence product is at risk for skin irritation. If the skin has become wet or chaffed, the incontinence product either incorrectly fits the wearer or is not the right absorbency. With effective skin moisturizers, creams, and ointments, the sensitive perineal skin can stay healthy and clean.

8. Personal Care Wipes

Aloe Vesta Bathing Cloths in a pouch are perfect as a no-rinse cleansing optionWith all the personal hygiene products available, personal care wipes are the most convenient incontinence product for seniors. Using personal care wipes is not only a quicker and easier option than paper towels or cloths; they are also the most versatile cleaning product around. Wipes are compact enough for travel and an inexpensive way to keep yourself and the surfaces around you clean throughout the day.  When there isn’t a water source available, using personal care wipes can be used to quickly remove dirt and germs from the hands and face as well as a toilet paper alternative.

9. Penis Clamp

As men age, they may experience difficulty controlling their urinary leakage when lifting, coughing, or straining. They may also have leakage or dribbling of urine due to other urinary problems such as prostate cancer. A penis clamp is an incontinence product for seniors that puts light pressure on the urethra and helps control urine leaking. They are a cost-effective way to help manage stress incontinence in men and worth having around for convenience and travel.

10. Adult Swim Brief

In the summer months, enjoying the pool can be difficult for those that suffer from incontinence.  With adult swim briefs such as the Swimmates Adult Reusable Diapers, pool-time can be worry-free. These snug-fitting, stretchy, and lightweight incontinence briefs are made specifically to fit underneath a swimsuit. Adult swim briefs are also machine washable and reusable, so they are budget-friendly when choosing this kind of incontinence product for seniors.

Stocking up on the essential incontinence products for seniors is important when managing an incontinence condition. Not being prepared with the necessary incontinence supplies when you need them, most can be frustrating. You can rest easy with a little preparation, knowing that you don’t need to run out in an emergency to get the incontinence supplies you need.

For any questions about the incontinence products we carry, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. Being prepared never felt so good!

Related Incontinence Products

Prevail Air Heavy Absorbency Briefs

Prevail Air Briefs in a bag are a heavy absorbency option

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpads, Wings

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpad

Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter

The Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter
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Superb product and good price, too. Love the convenience of having the products delivered to my home.

Joan B.

Wahpeton, ND
Very courteous representatives and always ahead of my phone calls for upcoming orders.

Istvan N.

Toms River, NJ
The people at Personally Delivered have always been very friendly and helpful. They make it comfortable and easy to order my supplies.

Ed R.

Peoria, AZ
Products are of high quality. People are very friendly and considerate. Very polite and personable. Excellent to deal with!

Daniel S.

Glen Rock, PA
Customer Service is the BEST! Your reps really care and are always finding ways to make things as easy as possible!

James S.

Cumberland, MD