Information for the public
If you have stress incontinence and can still contract the muscles of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support your bladder) you may be offered pelvic floor muscle training (with or without a device to measure or stimulate the electrical signals in the muscles). You should only be offered this treatment if it is recommended for you after a specialist assessment of your pelvic floor.
If pelvic floor training is not suitable or does not work for you, your healthcare professional may suggest surgery for stress incontinence. One option for surgery includes inserting a strip of tissue taken from another part of your body to form a sling that supports the urethra. This helps to stop urine from leaking out.
A further option is to insert a device called an artificial urinary sphincter (valve) to control the flow of urine from the bladder into the urethra. Some of the side effects of this operation can be serious, so your healthcare professional should discuss alternative procedures, the risks associated with the procedure, and the possible need for repeat procedures with you and/or your family and carers. It should only be offered if an alternative procedure, such as sling insertion, is less likely to be effective. If you have an artificial sphincter inserted, you should be monitored after the operation to check how well your kidneys are working.