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Electrical Stimulation for Incontinence

For Women > Physiotherapy > Treatment > Electrical Stimulation for Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can affect men and women throughout all stages of their lives but particularly women after pregnancy, childbirth and during the menopause. Urinary incontinence is defined as: the involuntary loss of urine that is a social or hygienic problem. The standard of care and first line of treatment for incontinence should always be a pelvic floor exercise program.

In some cases, depending on your type of incontinence, electrical stimulation may be used in the treatment of incontinence. If a woman is unable to contract her pelvic floor muscles, if the muscles are very weak or she has poor muscle awareness, an electrical muscle stimulation device may be used to improve function of the pelvic floor muscles.  Such devices sometimes use a vaginal probe which is operated by a hand-held control unit.

How does it work?

It is thought that the electrically induced contractions produce an effect similar to Kegel exercises, which strengthens the muscles. The stimulation may also enhance the process of regeneration of nerves that control the pelvic floor.

How will I know if electrical stimulation can help me?

You will need an assessment by our physiotherapist to determine if you are suitable for the treatment. Depending on the type of incontinence, your physiotherapist will prescribe a programme for you. However, electrical stimulation is rarely a stand-alone treatment, and you may be advised to first start a pelvic floor exercise programme and modify lifestyle factors before considering electrical stimulation.

If you have any questions on incontinence, please do not hesitate to contact our women’s health physiotherapists who can help with your condition.



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