Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Like one in four Australians, Catherine Davis suffers from an uncomfortable, embarrassing and debilitating disorder.

The Sydney mum of two experiences incontinence – a loss of bladder control – like more than half under the age of 50 and one in three women who have given birth.

During World Continence Week, the 36-year-old opened up about her condition, admitting to seeing a psychologist because it was traumatic for her after the birth of her two boys, now aged 9 and 5.

“It’s been horrendous since I had the boys. Whenever I go out I need to know where the toilets are and how quickly I can get there, ”Ms Davis said.

“Being incontinent has impacted massively on my life, and I can only wear loose trousers, usually black, in case I have an ‘accident’. Anything tight and brightly colored is too noticeable.

“It’s also affected me having quality time with the kids – I can not even go on the trampoline with them.

“It’s terribly embarrassing… People joke about it but it’s actually debilitating.”

Catherine Davis, 36, is one of 25 percent of Australians who suffer from incontinence.  Supplied
Camera IconCatherine Davis, 36, is one of 25 percent of Australians who suffer from incontinence. Supplied Credit: Supplied

Incontinence treatment was previously limited, painful and invasive, but Ms Davis has since tried revolutionary radiofrequency technology that was only launched in the nation last month.

Empower RF uses radiofrequency technology to treat weak pelvic floor muscles, stress, urge, and mixed urinary incontinence in women.

Three complementary energies – submucosal fractional radiofrequency, intravaginal electrical muscle stimulation and bipolar radiofrequency – and different applicators that are inserted internally are used during sessions.

The treatment – designed to address bladder dysfunction, genito-urinary syndrome of menopause, sexual dysfunction or enhancement, and pelvic aesthetic indications – has previously been used in the United States or America, Israel and the UK.

The Sydney mum of two said the disorder was 'terribly embarrassing' and affected her everyday life.  Supplied
Camera IconThe Sydney mum of two said the disorder was ‘terribly embarrassing’ and affected her everyday life. Supplied Credit: Supplied

Ms Lowe has had four sessions and said she noticed a difference after her first.

“It’s been life-changing. If I’m out and need to pee, I can actually hold it until I get to a toilet, and I can laugh, cough and sneeze without worrying that I’m going to wet myself, ”she said.

“It also feels tighter ‘down there’ in general, and I feel like I’m back to normal like I was before having children.”

More than five million Australians, or one in four, aged 15 and over experience bladder or bowel control problems.  File image
Camera IconMore than five million Australians, or one in four, aged 15 and over experience bladder or bowel control problems. File image Credit: News Regional Media

Obstetrician Elizabeth Golez, who performs the treatment in Sydney, said the radiofrequencies strengthened pelvic floor muscles and returned collagen liquidity to vaginal walls.

“The response from patients so far is that it has shown a noticeable difference after just one treatment. But it’s imperative that depending on the severity of their issues, patients would need to continue to be treated for a set period of time to ensure the results are magnified, ”Dr Golez said.

“We know that over time the female anatomy evolves due to multiple factors – pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal transformations, menopause and aging, hence inevitably the pelvic floor is negatively impacted, leading to weakness and stress urinary incontinence.

“Utilizing EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) via the Vtone applicator provides a muscular re-education and rehabilitation for weak pelvic floor muscles.”

The EmpowerRF technology is provided to Australian medics by InMode Australia.

The company’s managing director Dennis Cronje said the device was revolutionary because treatment could be done in office with “astounding” results rather than at a hospital.

“There are so many women suffering in silence but they no longer need to. EmpowerRF restores patient self-confidence and quality of life without surgery or prolonged downtime, ”Mr Cronje said.

Data suggests 80 per cent of people with urinary incontinence are women.
Camera IconData suggests 80 per cent of people with urinary incontinence are women. Credit: News Regional Media

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