Mechanical Devices for Urinary Incontinence in Women
Mechanical devices may be used to manage
different types of
For stress incontinencestress incontinence:
pessary is a rubber device that is inserted into the
vagina until it touches the cervix. The pessary presses through the vaginal
wall and supports the urethra. It also pinches the urethra closed to help
retain urine in the bladder and reduce stress
incontinence. Some women who have stress incontinence use a pessary just during
activities that are likely to cause urine leakage, such as jogging. But many
pessaries can be worn all the time.
Weighted vaginal cone: A weighted vaginal cone is a cone-shaped weight that is inserted into the vagina. The cone is used as part of a biofeedback exercise for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. The cone is weighted (heavy) so the muscles have to work to keep it in the vagina.
Urethral insert: A thin, flexible tube that is solid rather than hollow (like a
catheter) is placed into the urethra to block the leakage of urine.
External urethral barrier: A self-adhesive patch or a cap is placed over the urethral
opening to block the leakage of urine.
What To Expect After Treatment
This section is not applicable to this
Why It Is Done
Mechanical devices can be used to control stress and mixed urinary incontinence. Because they are inexpensive and have few risks, they are usually tried before surgery, along with other treatments like pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises. Some women who have incontinence but who don't want or can't have surgery may find that mechanical devices work well enough to control their incontinence.
How Well It Works
There is no strong evidence that these devices work to control incontinence. But they are inexpensive and don't have a lot of risks. If they don't work for you, you can always try other things like pelvic floor exercises or surgery.
Using a urethral insert increases
the risk of:
Using pessaries increases the risk of damaging the:
What To Think About
Use of mechanical devices is
under your control and can be designed to fit into your lifestyle.
For some women, a tampon inserted in the vagina creates enough pressure to prevent leaking. Tampons are a less expensive option than a pessary, with little risk.
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Primary Medical Reviewer
||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Current as of
||January 14, 2014