I’ve dealt with urinary incontinence for too long. I remember years ago my gyno asking me if I ever had any issues and I said yes, but then she never gave me any suggestions. Then a couple of years later I went for a visit and there was a NP in training that came in and asked a bunch of questions including about urinary incontinence. Then when I asked about it later I was basically told there was nothing they could to do to help me. Then why did you ask? What’s the point of that?
Then a few years ago when I started seeing my pelvic pain (endometriosis) specialist it came up again. This time he offered answers. The first was physical therapy. Unfortunately, this isn’t the type of physical therapy that a lot of places do. I ended up driving 40 minutes to the next town over to see a PT that did this type of work, only to have zero success. Then we tried drugs, some made it worse, some didn’t help at all. The next step on the ladder are the invasive options. His preferred option is sacral neuromodulation. It involves implanting a neurostimulator, and really wasn’t something I wanted to do. We’ve talked about it off and on for the last year or so. When I visited this last January I knew it would come up again. But, I wanted to wait and see if perhaps the return of the endo was aggravating my bladder. He’d also never done a scope in my bladder to check for inflammation. So, we decided to do those two things.
Shortly before my surgery I started using Oska Pulse at my abdominal area. And, it was shortly after my surgery that I met Dr. Kathy Davis, a nurse practitioner who wrote her doctoral dissertation on the use of PEMF for urinary incontinence.
In this case PEMF is used as an alternative to electrostimulation similar to what I received in physical therapy. The stimulation basically forces muscle contractions that help build up the muscle and/or help it relax. Unlike electrostimulation therapy, PEMF can be used while the patient remains dressed. No probes or wires are involved. For that matter there’s no pain or sensation at all while the therapy is applied. As the electromagnet is engaged (turned off and on) it induces muscle contractions in the same way that the electrostim device does, helping to build strength in the bladder muscles.
The approach that she used in her study involved a very large magnet that patients had to come to the office twice a week for six weeks and sit on a chair connected to a large electromagnet that pulsed in 10 min intervals with a 1-5 minute rest break in between (total, 20 min sessions).50% of women live with urinary incontinence, why aren't we talking about this more? Click To Tweet
During the study the women kept a bladder diary to chart how often they had incontinence episodes and how many pads they used during a given day. Over the course of the study, both pad usage and leakage episodes declined at a significant rate.
Three months after the end of the study 77% of the participants still indicated improvement in their symptoms. However, over time this improvement did decline without continued treatment.
So, that’s why Dr. Kathy Davis was pretty interested when she first heard about Oska Pulse, and why she’s now as excited about it as I am. It’s also why after I returned from meeting her I continued to use Oska Pulse at my abdominal area, as well as my shoulder/neck area.
Has Oska Pulse helped with my urinary incontinence issues?
Why yes, I do believe it has. However, it may also be that the endometriosis that was hanging out on my bladder might have also been making things worse. At any rate, I’ve had only one episode of urinary incontinence in the last few months since the surgery. That’s pretty amazing really. It’s enough that I’ve once again decided to avoid the idea of an invasive procedure, and at this point don’t feel it would be remotely necessary.
Davis, K. (2014). Clinical Outcomes involving the Use of Extracorporeal Magnetic Innervation in the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence.