Stress urinary incontinence can make work more stressful
Work is stressful enough without having medical complications making a job more difficult. A new study shows that women who suffer from a common condition known as stress urinary incontinence are more likely to have difficulty with on-the-job and performance-related issues.
Stress urinary incontinence, or SUI, is a medical condition caused when the muscles and nerves that hold or release urine are weakened due to childbirth, weight gain, age, or other conditions. This results in an involuntary loss of urine during activity or movements such as coughing, exercising or lifting heavy objects.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, questioned working women who suffered from SUI. Thirty-four percent said the condition negatively affected their ability to complete tasks without interruption. Twenty-eight percent said SUI had a negative impact on their self-confidence.
Women who suffer from SUI should have a candid conversation with their employer about their condition so that he or she understands the employee’s frequent trips to the restroom are medically necessary and not performance related.
Treatments are available for women with SUI. Surgery is sometimes recommended. Women should discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with their doctors.
One of the most common surgical procedures used to threat SUI is the insertion of a bladder sling. This is a medical device made of surgical mesh that is inserted through the vagina to hold up the bladder, much like a hammock. This transvaginal mesh is also used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.
But hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of transvaginal mesh by women who say the devices caused them to suffer serious problems including internal lacerations, infections, worsening incontinence, and painful sexual intercourse. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning based on growing complaints from January 2008 and December 2010 that said the mesh may be linked to serious problems for some women.
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