Er-YAG Laser technique is a revolutionary, photothermal, non-surgical treatment option for mild to severe cases of both urinary stress (SUI) and mixed urinary incontinence (MUI).
Female Urinary Incontinence is an Untreated Condition for 50% of Sufferers
As many as one in four of all sexually active women suffer some form of urinary incontinence, a debilitating, restrictive condition, particularly in women who have experienced vaginal childbirth. Contrary to common perception, urinary incontinence is not just an issue for older women who have lost muscle tone through ageing, but for a large and often silent majority of younger women ( statistically up to 50% remain undiagnosed) who often silently accept the condition as a consequence of childbirth. Stretching and loss of elasticity, together with damage to the connective tissue of the pelvic floor, causes degrees of incontinence.
Types of Female Incontinence
Stress Incontinence (SI) is leakage caused by coughing, laughing or during physical exertion; urinary urge incontinence (UUI) or overactive bladder can be caused by damage to muscles or the nervous system and Mixed Urinary Incontinence (MUI) is a combination of both.
Existing Alternative Treatments of Female Urinary Incontinence
- Conservative, first lines of treatment for UI are Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles or electro or magnetic stimulation of pelvic floor muscles.
- Two types of surgical procedures, the TOT (trans-obturator tape) sling and the TVT (tension free vaginal tape) sling are commonly performed. A study 1 comparing the two procedures found that 6 months after the procedure, the TOT had worked for 21 in 100 women compared with 45 in 100 for the TVT(ref 78)
Er-YAG Laser treatment is delivered through the vagina, emitting microsecond long laser impulses which create a controlled temperature increase in the connective tissue of the vagina. The increased heating shrinks the collagen and mucosal tissue and the vaginal wall tightens. This process stimulates the body to naturally continue the tissue regeneration, reducing sagging of the vaginal walls as well as thickening and strengthening the vaginal mucosa, which in turn provides a stronger support for the bladder.
Benefits of Er-YAG Laser treatment for SUI & MUI
- Average treatment time is 20 to 30 minutes
- Painless procedure (almost no discomfort) with no hospitalisation or anaesthetic required
- Patients report improved sexual gratification due to tightening of vaginal walls
- The body’s natural repair process continues for up to 6 months
- Patients can return to daily activities immediately (although they are advised to avoid sex and tampon use for a few days to a week)
Clinical Trials Testing Effectiveness of Er-YAG Laser for Urinary Incontinence Treatment 2
Clinical trials testing the effectiveness of the Er-YAG Laser procedure over a 12 month period involved 107 participants diagnosed with SUI or MUI. Participants had an average age of 50 years and 67 were diagnosed with SUI and 40 with MUI.
Results after 6 months
- Of 51 patients with moderate to severe SUI, 45 remained dry, only 6 patients still had moderate SUI, 10 reported mild remaining SUI but none had severe SUI.
- Of the 40 patients with moderate to very severe MUI only 7 reported remaining moderate or severe gravity MUI. 33 reported none or mild MUI.84 of 107 patients assessed the improvement of their UI after 6 months as excellent, 15 reported significant change and 8 reported mild to moderate UI improvement.
- No participants reported discomfort during the procedure or any adverse after effects.