North Texas

New Therapies Help Combat Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is a common and embarrassing problem for many women.

It's estimated that between 25 and 50 percent of women deal with the problem. Common factors are childbirth and aging.

For 31-year-old Susan Muriel Avett, the birth of her daughter brought on the issue, which she wasn't prepared for.

"It was hard to talk about, and I didn't know if it was normal or not," Avett said.

Dr. Jeffrey Caruth, of Plano Aesthetics, says new therapies give new options for women.

The latest, which the FDA approved this year, is a non-invasive device called Votiva, designed for women's intimate health.

It uses radio frequency energy to tighten the tissue responsible for the embarrassing leaks.

"We really could only offer women medicine, hormones, creams, surgeries, those kinds of things. Now, there's this non-surgical treatment available that really can help a lot of women that won't subject them to more aggressive treatments or medications with side effects or hormones," Caruth said.

After one treatment, Avett says she's feeling much better.

"I don't have any problem controlling my bladder. I don't have to wear pads. I don't feel like I have to take three showers everyday," she said.

Votiva devices work like other radio frequency treatments commonly used to tighten the skin on other areas of the body, like the stomach, chest and arms.

Results can be immediate with little to no downtime. However, unlike surgery or medication to treat incontinence, radio frequency treatments are not covered by health insurance.

One treatment costs around $800.

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