Friday, July 1, 2011
Medical Reports: Suffer in Silence
Many women who live with bladder problems are constantly running to the bathroom. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us how a new therapy is helping these women so they don't have to "Suffer in Silence."
WSVN -- Ana Arango loves being a mom. What she doesn't like are the changes in her body since her youngest was born.
Ana Arango, Has Pelvic Floor Problems: "When I had my second daughter, I was feeling something different."
Ana was constantly running to the restroom, and the problem was getting worse.
Beatriz Lizaso, Physical Therapist, Memorial Hospital Miramar: "To leak when you cough or sneeze or have any strenuous activity, running, jumping."
Beatriz Lizaso, a physical therapist who specializes in women's health, says bladder problems after childbirth are very common, but many women are too embarrassed to talk about it.
Beatriz Lizaso: "It's something that's often not addressed, even by their physicians."
Now instead of turning to medication or surgery, more doctors are prescribing pelvic floor rehabilitation therapy.
Dr. Angelo Gousse, Urologist, Memorial Hospital Miramar: "It's non-surgical, it's minimally invasive, it's not very costly. It's a great thing to do."
The therapy focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Beatriz Lizaso: "So you're going to take a deep breath in."
First, Beatriz uses biofeedback so the patient can actually see their abdominal muscles working.
Ana is hooked up to a computer, which instructs her when to contract and relax her muscles.
Computer: "Work. Rest."
Beatriz Lizaso: "The biofeedback could either teach a weak muscle to get stronger or a muscle that's always turned on to turn off."
Beatriz also says now is the time to break bad habits, like only go to the bathroom when you have a full bladder, drink lots of water and limit caffeine.
She also teaches Pilates to strengthen the core muscles.
Beatriz Lizaso: "We bring in the Pilates exercises, so that you can engage those muscles without being consciously aware that you're doing so."
Ana says the therapy has really helped her, and she encourages other women to talk about it so they can get help and no longer suffer in silence.
Ana Arango: "It's very important."
Lynn Martinez: "Doctors say hormonal changes and prior surgeries like a hysterectomy can also cause pelvic floor problems."