If you cringe when you laugh, sneeze or cough, fearing urinary leakage, you’re not alone. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, nearly 25 million adult Americans have experienced temporary or chronic incontinence. This can occur after giving birth and the chances increase as we age, and our pelvic muscles weaken. A staggering 75% of women over the age of 65 have experienced this situation, reports the Mayo Clinic.
It can impact you socially, physically and psychologically. Embarrassed to discuss with friends or even their healthcare provider, many women assume that this is their new norm or that surgery is required. However, advances in technology now help innovative providers like Dr. Jennifer Levine offer patients a non-invasive solution that improves their symptoms in as few as four weeks.
What is urinary incontinence?
Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine caused by weak pelvic floor muscles brought on by various factors including aging, vaginal childbirth and even menopause.
It can fall under three different categories. The first is stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which creates leakage under pressure such as when you exercise, laugh, cough or even just walk. The second type is urge incontinence and this is the sudden and intense urge to urinate, which can cause one not to make it to the toilet. The last category is mixed incontinence: the combination of stress and urge incontinence.
How can urinary incontinence impact daily life?
In addition to causing physical discomfort and limitations such as constantly having to be near a bathroom, incontinence can also have a negative impact on social life and mental health.
Urinary leakage can be an embarrassing experience, causing loss of self-esteem, depression, loss of independence and feeling estranged from even the simplest activities that bring joy such as laughing. Women can find themselves canceling plans due to the anxiety that leakage could happen in public and a fear of being revealed.
Unlike other medical conditions, women who suffer from urinary incontinence tend to remain silent rather than reach out for help from friends or family, leading to isolation which can quickly turn into depression.
How can you treat symptoms of urinary incontinence?
Kegel exercises, or the practice of tightening the pelvic floor muscles and holding them for 3 to 5 seconds, has proven successful in helping people who have dealt with urinary leakage. While this exercise can effectively strengthen the pelvic floor, modern technology can make the process more efficient with added benefits like improved sexual health and improved core strength.
Dr. Jennifer Levine, a double-board certified plastic surgeon, welcomes patients to her dedicated Body Sculpting Suite on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where she uses an innovative and 100% non-invasive protocol, Core to Floor, to effectively treat symptoms of incontinence in as few as four weeks.
What is the Core to Floor protocol?
To address the group of muscles responsible for proper bladder control, Dr. Levine combines EMSELLA® and EMSCULPT NEO®. Created by a pioneer in aesthetics and physiotherapy, BTL Aesthetics, these FDA-cleared devices use high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM®) energy, which activates even more muscle fibers than the most intense HIIT workouts.
EMSELLA is a groundbreaking treatment that specifically addresses the weakened muscles responsible for incontinence. Using electromagnetic energy to transmit thousands of supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contraction, EMSELLA serves to re-educate the pelvic floor muscles of someone dealing with urinary leakage. When the pelvic floor is strong, the person has better control over the bladder.
One of the best parts about EMSELLA is that it’s easy to use. Patients sit fully clothed on the device that is shaped like a chair and it sends electromagnetic stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles. Dr. Levine recommends six sessions for full effect, with patients seeing improvements after their first session as each 28-minute session is the equivalent of doing 11,000 Kegels!
EMSCULPT NEO is the “core” part of the Core to Floor protocol. Strong core muscles, which include the abdominal and back muscles, help support the pelvic floor muscles in bladder and bowel control. Dr. Levine recommends four sessions for patients, with each 30-minute session equaling the effect of doing 20,000 crunches.
This may sound tiring, but while the results are impressive, the feeling of muscle soreness is not present. EMSCULPT NEO alternates the electromagnetic contractions with pulses that help eliminate lactic acid, helping avoid delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
What makes Core to Floor unique?
This protocol is currently the only non-invasive way to address the challenge of incontinence in as few as four weeks by engaging the core muscles as well as the small pelvic muscles that are responsible for stabilizing the body and controlling bladder function.
Additional perks of Core to Floor.
Even if you aren’t challenged with incontinence, Core to Floor can be a great confidence booster with aesthetic and preventative benefits.
EMSCULPT NEO offers an athletic and aesthetic advantage. The treatment stimulates muscle movements in ways that are not possible through exercise, providing athletes with improved performance while helping prevent injuries. It also tones the body by building muscle while using radiofrequency to permanently destroy fat cells in the treated area.
EMSELLA also improves sexual health by building the pelvic floor muscles, tightening the vaginal canal, and permanently increasing bloodflow to the area which results in increased sensation of pleasure during sex.
“These treatments are used by athletes, mothers, seniors and patients who simply want to feel and look their best,” Dr. Levine shares.
What to expect during the treatments.
Both treatments are non-invasive, pain-free and require no downtime.
EMSCULPT NEO: A 30-minute treatment that involves a paddle being placed on the abdominal area. It feels like doing a series of intense crunches interrupted by several sessions of a knocking sensation which is when the technology separates the lactic acid from the muscle to greatly reduce or even eliminate the sensation of soreness. Generally, the protocol calls for four sessions in total, administered once per week.
EMSELLA: A 28-minute treatment that requires sitting on a seat fully clothed. Patients report feeling a tingling sensation as the pelvic muscles are activated. Generally, the protocol calls for two sessions per week for three weeks, totaling six sessions.
With the advances in technology to help build and tighten muscle in the core and pelvic floor, there is no need to accept urinary incontinence as the norm. From minor cases of leakage to more severe cases that impact daily life, there is help. Speak to your doctor about Core to Floor and regain your independence and confidence.