Like one in four Australians, Catherine Davis suffers from an uncomfortable, embarrassing and debilitating condition.
The Sydney mother of two experiences incontinence – a loss of bladder control – as more than half under the age of 50 and one in three women have given birth.
During World Continence Week, the 36-year-old spoke about her condition and admitted she went to a psychologist because it was traumatic for her after the birth of her two boys, now aged 9 and 5.
“It’s been awful since I had the boys. When I go out, I need to know where the toilets are and how quickly I can get there,” said Ms. Davis.
“Being incontinent has had a huge impact on my life and I can only wear loose pants, mostly black, in case I have an ‘accident’. Everything that is sleek and brightly colored stands out too much.
“It has also influenced me to have quality time with the kids – I can’t even go on the trampoline with them.
“It’s terribly embarrassing… People joke about it, but it’s actually debilitating.”
Incontinence treatment was previously limited, painful and invasive, but Ms. Davis has since tried revolutionary radio frequency technology launched in the country only last month.
Empower RF uses radio frequency technology to treat pelvic floor muscle weakness, stress, urgency and mixed urinary incontinence in women.
Three complementary energies – submucosal fractional radiofrequency, intravaginal electrical muscle stimulation, and bipolar radiofrequency – and different applicators inserted internally are used during sessions.
The treatment – designed to address bladder dysfunction, genitourinary 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.
Ms. Lowe has had four sessions and said she noticed a difference after her first.
“It’s life-changing. If I’m outside and have to pee, I can even hold it until I’m at a toilet, and I can laugh, cough, and sneeze without worrying about getting myself wet,” she said.
“It also feels tighter ‘down there’ in general, and I feel like I’m back to normal the way I was before I had kids.”
Obstetrician Elizabeth Golez, who conducts the treatment in Sydney, said the radio frequencies strengthened the pelvic floor muscles and returned collagen fluidity to the vaginal walls.
“The response from patients so far has been that it has already shown a noticeable difference after just one treatment. But it is imperative that depending on the severity of their problems, patients should be treated for a period of time to ensure that the results are magnified,” said Dr. Golez.
“We know that female anatomy evolves over time due to multiple factors – pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal transformations, menopause and aging, inevitably negatively affecting the pelvic floor leading to weakness and stress urinary incontinence.
“Using EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) via the Vtone applicator provides muscle re-education and rehabilitation for weak pelvic floor muscles.”
The EmpowerRF technology is provided to Australian medical professionals by InMode Australia.
The company’s president, Dennis Cronje, said the device was revolutionary because treatment could be done in the office with “staggering” results rather than in a hospital.
“There are so many women who suffer in silence, but that is no longer necessary. EmpowerRF restores patient confidence and quality of life without surgery or extended downtime,” said Mr. Cronje.
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