Leaks and drips are no fun. The spontaneous little leaks and the urge to go can most definitely interfere with our daily lives more than any of us would like to admit. Luckily, bladder leaks and prolapse are not something you have to live with, thanks to the various new treatments out there. Collagen is one of those treatments that we’re going to uncover below.
Collagen: The Holy Grail For Youth…And Leaks?
You may have heard of collagen injections before. If not, let’s just say that collagen is the holy grail for gaining a youthful, glowing appearance. But, did you know collagen injections can also be used to aid in incontinence? Yep, it’s true. If leaks are making you feel a little bleak, collagen might be able to provide you some relief, in addition to bladder leak products like those at Lily Bird.
How does getting back to life without the stress and worry of having to hit the restroom sound? If it sounds pretty good, keep reading to see how collagen can help you.
Collagen Injections: What Are They And What Do They Do?
It’s important to understand what collagen injections are in the first place. Collagen is the skin’s most abundant protein. It supports skin elasticity and, over time, can begin to wear down. Collagen injections are one of the most popular methods to add rejuvenation to the skin for a youthful glow. Its reverse-aging superpower is why so many people get these injections to combat wrinkles, crows’ feet, and stretch marks, to name a few. Plus, the fact that they can aid in treating the bladder is not such a bad addition either!
Collagen And The Urethra
So now you’re probably wondering, how the heck does collagen help bladder leaks? Well, let’s get into urethral bulking to understand how collagen comes into play. Urethral bulking is the procedure of injecting a bulking agent around the urethra to gain more control over urine flow. The urethra is the tube that gives urine a ride from the bladder to the exterior of the body. This procedure narrows the urethral tube by bulking the urethral wall, which means a lot fewer leaks for you. As you might’ve imagined, collagen is the bulking agent doctors use to inject into the urethral wall.
How Is It Done?
You’ll be glad to know that getting collagen injections for bladder leaks is on an outpatient basis. Most injection procedures are done in about twenty minutes, though you may be at your doctor’s office for an hour or two.
There’s the necessary urine test beforehand to make sure you don’t have any UTIs. Then, much like a routine pelvic exam, you undress from the waist down and, once covered with a sheet, will place your feet in stirrups. Your medical team will use a numbing product or anesthesia, so you don’t really feel anything. After that, your doctor will insert a cystoscope (thin, tubelike telescope) into the urethra to better see during the procedure. Then they’ll inject the collagen into the sphincter area through the urethral wall.
After the procedure, they’ll likely ask you to empty your bladder so you can go home. You may have to take it easy for a few days, but other than that, the procedure is relatively simple.
Are There Any Side Effects?
It is normal for the collagen to take a little while to achieve a bulking effect, so you should still expect some leakage. Before you leave your doctors office, they’ll likely ask you to cough to see if you leak. If you don’t then that’s a sign that the procedure worked. In terms of side effects, there may be some pain in the area of injection, slight bleeding in urine, or infection. Usually, your medical provider will give you antibiotics as a precaution.
The Success Rate
One injection can cause a huge turnaround, but maintenance is usually required if this is something you wish to continue. According to one statistic, anywhere from 67-96% of women remained dry one year after the injection, but the numbers of ‘cured’ and ‘improved’ cases did change as the years went on. The procedure itself does have a success rate of 60-70 percent.
It is super important to note that this is not a surefire way to end leaks due to incontinence or prolapse, but there is a significant improvement for many women who go through this treatment. However, if you see a significant improvement in bladder leak symptoms after the first injection, consider going through the procedure again. The side effects are minimal, and the reassurance of lowering bladder leak symptoms is definitely reassuring.
Collagen Injections: More Than Just The Fountain of Youth
A wise woman once said, “Don’t let incontinence get you down.” Ok, maybe that was me, but it’s true. Bladder leaks and all the frustration that comes with them can definitely put a damper on your days. Luckily, there’s a variety of treatments that can help alleviate these symptoms so you can keep living your best life.
With collagen injections, you can go anywhere from a few months to a year or two without stressing about leaks. And all from a short procedure. An hour or two is definitely a good exchange for months to years of bladder leak relief!
Are bladder leaks holding you back from living your best life? Lily Bird‘s got you covered with pads and underwear for bladder leaks, delivered straight to your door on the schedule that works for you.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH