Sunday, December 30, 2012

Risks Associated with Stress Urinary Incontinence Treatment

This guest post was supposed to be posted a while ago. Nevertheless, here it is. It is a very interesting read, and I thank Jasmine McCarthy for taking the time to write it. She contacted me a couple of months ago on behalf of the Public Outreach Department at and wanted me to feature her guest post which contains some important information regarding women and the treatments they seek for stress incontinence. The post begins below the line.


Some form of urinary incontinence affects 30 to 50  percent of women. This percentage increases as women age. Although it  is considered normal, there are things women can do to prevent or reverse  it.
One common form of poor bladder control, Stress Urinary  Incontinence (SUI), is commonly treated using a surgical procedure where  a mesh bladder sling is inserted to provide support for the bladder  and the urethra.
Unfortunately, the vaginal  mesh can pose considerable health risks when it is  inserted transvaginally (through the vagina). For many women, these  complications have caused permanent damage. Currently, there are thousands  of lawsuits, as a result of the medical complications associated with  bladder slings and transvaginal mesh.
What is Transvaginal Mesh?
Transvaginal mesh has gained widespread popularity  since its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about a decade ago. It  has been used to treat both SUI and Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), another  condition that is common in women between the ages of 50 and 79.
Unfortunately, transvaginal mesh is known to cause  complications in both SUI and POP patients. In fact, upward of 10 percent  of women who have had transvaginal mesh inserted to treat POP have experienced  some form of complication. To make matters worse, the health problems  that arise from transvaginal mesh are not always reversible. Even when  the problems can be reversed, women may have to undergo multiple revision  surgeries before symptoms improve. These issues led to one of the first  manufacturers of the mesh to participate in a voluntary transvaginal  mesh recall.
Complications Related to Bladder Slings
There are multiple complications that can occur when  bladder slings are inserted transvaginally. These include:
• Erosion    of the mesh material into vaginal or other tissues.
• Organ    perforation.
• Repeat    infections, especially urinary tract infections.
• Pain    during sexual intercourse.
• General    pain and discomfort that can occur as the mesh contracts and shrinks,    pulling the tissues with it.
• Chronic    inflammation caused by the body's tendency to reject foreign objects.
• Incontinence.
• Difficulty    with bowel functions.
Alternatives to Risky Vaginal Mesh Materials
There are alternatives to transvaginal mesh surgery.  Women who elect to undergo surgical procedures to treat SUI should discuss  alternative options with their health care professional, including abdominal  placement of a bladder sling.
Women who have already had a bladder sling implanted  should observe a regular examination schedule and report any potential  complications immediately.

A Message from a Supporter

Here is an email from a supporter. I do not usually publish these without the permission of the recipient. She wants to be listed, so here goes.

Hi Reina,
First of all, thank you for being a much needed advocate for those dealing with the symptoms of incontinence and working to lift its stigma. I’d like to introduce you to our website, Parentgiving was created to help time-starved adult children and caregivers provide better care for their loved ones by providing: in depth information and helpful checklists about a variety of caregiving topics; access to 27 senior care experts, buyer guides to help inform purchasing decisions; over 5,000 products covering hundreds of categories—with incontinence topping that list; and a knowledgeable, caring customer service department. We’d love to be listed on your blog. If you think conjoining our pages on facebook would also be a helpful endeavor, please visit us at
All  my best,
Mary Otte

Glad the Blog is Helping People

I feel encouraged that this blog is helping so many people. The fact that so many are benefiting is the reason I will keep this up, despite the persecution I will get from society. Believe me. I have gotten a lot of persecution for my advocacy work, but that makes me want to continue it even more.

This blog has also been the reason my Facebook support group is growing. In the past week, three new people have joined the group.

For those who have been asking, I will be adding some new pages with fresh content to the blog in the coming weeks. I will make a page that will contain information about the support in the event that my post about it will eventually get buried. I will also be adding some new resource pages. So stay tuned.

Evaluating My Situation

For the past couple of days or so, I have been sitting here and evaluating my situation as to why the 7.5MG dose of the Enablex drugs were not doing their trick in the past six months or so. As you have seen in previous posts, the meds were doing me a lot of good and allowing me to function normally. I did not have to wear diapers at all, and I could hold my bladder normally. Now, things are different. There were some things that stood out to me that were different that I feel may have influenced the effectiveness of the medication in these past six months or so.

1. I have been under significant stress from August until now, significant stress. I have had financial stress because my job was not panning out like I thought. Things are getting better there, though, so I hope to see that stress disappear soon.
2. I had increased in my consumption of fountain sodas. Fountain sodas always went right through me, so this is likely contributing to why I’d frequently go to the bathroom on the 7.5MG dose since summer or so.
3. I have also significantly increased my consumption of coffee, hot chocolate and tea in the past several months. I love all three of these beverages; however, I am wondering if I will either have to curve my consumption of these or stop it altogether.
4. I have even had the occasional energy drink from time to time as a means of battling the chronic fatigue when it rears its ugly head.

I am wondering now if all of these factors are not present, including the stress that things will improve on the 7.5 again and get back to what was. When I was first on that dose, as you all have seen from past posts, I felt liberated. There were no frequent bathroom visits and periodic wetting accidents at night. I am almost certain I am right about these four factors influencing the effectiveness of the meds based on all of the literature I have read over the years; however, it will be a while before I will have a chance to consult with my doctor about this. I currently do not have insurance, and I do not want to pay a gigantic price just to ask some questions at an appointment. My husband did send the check for the premium, and the insurance should become active once it is received. Now, it is just a matter of waiting.

I do still have the 15MG pills, and I can alternate between the 7.5 and the 15MG pills to see if I can get my body used to the higher dose, like the doctor said to do. The thing is that the 15MG dose caused me severe constipation and stomach pains, and I know these are side effects of the meds. If I can afford to take time off work, like a week or so, I may be able to try something, but that is not seeming practical for my present circumstances. What I will try differently if I do this again is to increase my fiber intake to see if the constipation and the stomach pains will be nonexistent. On the 15MG dose, I was not wetting the bed periodically, and the other three factors I mentioned were not causing any issues. If I can eventually get the 15MG dose to work for me, I can cope with the stress and still have all my beverages that I want. I will not have to make any sacrifices, except for the sodas which I have already given up due to dietary restrictions. I really do not miss them, but the hot chocolate another drinks, I want to continue drinking them. We shall see.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Latest Happenings

Lately, I have been so busy. My husband is home from the military service, and I am scramming for money because my one job contract did not work out as planned. God is good, though, and the boss I have with the organization I am contracted with is still looking out for me. I am also trying to get things situated, so I have no down time with my business. I do have the backup Internet connection. Now, I need at least two backup computers. Since my business is online, these are necessary steps to take.

Anyway, on to the latest happenings. Things are not as I thought with the meds. I have been taking 7.5MG of Enablex. On this dosage, I have enjoyed complete daytime control, though, the bathroom usage was frequent. I would have occasional nighttime accidents. I was wearing a diaper to bed every night to avoid wetting the bed. However, I wanted to try seeing if upping the dose would make things better.

I talked to my doctor, and he agreed to up me to the 15MG dose. I was on that does for three days and suffered severe constipation and excruciating stomach pains. After speaking with the doctor's office, I was told to get off the meds (I stopped even before I talked to the office staff because I just could not take it anymore, and my husband did not want me to continue to suffer, either.), and then I was to start back slowly, alternating between the 7.5MG and 15MG doses every other day. I am supposed to watch and see how my body responds. I hope it responds well because I really wish to be free of the diapers altogether. If I do not respond well, then I am just going to have to remain on the 7.5MG dose that I have always been on because it does not cause any side effects, and I will just have to wear diapers at night and on very long trips where bathroom access is not going to be easily had.

No doubt, I do feel really down about the whole thing. I feel like I am back where I started, back at square one. I am wearing the diapers twenty-four/seven again until I get things under control. I did not want to do this, but I had no choice.