Weight loss tips to help manage stress urinary incontinence

Your doctor may have told you that you have urinary incontinence, and this could be stress urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder. One in 3.3 million Canadians, nearly 10% of the population, experience urinary incontinence, so you are not alone (1). Weight loss, through nutrition and exercise changes, is one of many strategies to reduce the frequency of stress urinary incontinence (2,3), but weight loss is easier said than done for many. Reducing the likelihood of yo-yo dieting and regaining weight is important when considering weight loss. If you are planning to make nutrition changes to support weight loss and a new lifestyle, here is a registered dietitians’ shortlist of some important things to consider, starting with letting go of past habits.

  1. Nutrition misinformation – look for red flags

Many fad diets promote eliminating food groups – poor carbohydrates, they always get picked on – and eating too few calories to fuel our daily needs and activities. The media tells us that we need to eat a certain number of calories per day to support weight loss (*ahem* 800-1000 calories which is similar to what a child would need, not a full-grown adult), but this could not be further from the truth. While a reduction in calories may be needed to support weight loss, it is not the be all and end all. What is important to support weight loss is the quality of calories. A registered dietitian can help you understand how to make changes to the foods you are consuming, and promote foods that will help support weight loss and keep you full, as well as estimate the number of calories you may need (which is likely a lot more than 800-1000 calories). Eating an insufficient quantity of calories can actually harm your metabolism.

A weight loss program that promotes eliminating a food group is not going to be sustainable: what is important is the quantity you eat. At each meal aim for:

  • ½ plate in vegetables and fruit
  • ¼ plate in starches choosing whole grain and low glycemic index carbohydrates that are full of fibre to keep you full
  • ¼ plate in lean proteins, including plant-based proteins more often
  • Small amounts of healthy fats

Start your weight loss journey by reflecting on how your meals compare to this list. Weight loss should not be an all-or-nothing approach to food groups.

  1. Weighing yourself daily and aiming for a magical number on the scale
    Your weight can fluctuate day-to-day because of many factors. 
    Hydration, what you eat, hormones, and even your bowel movement frequency can and will vary what you see on the scale. If you are going to weigh yourself, limit it to once per week or once per month and choose the same time of day each time, like first thing in the morning. Losing 1-2 lbs per week is considered healthy and gradual weight loss. That being said, there are many changes you can notice that are not weight related, like how your clothes are fitting, or your energy levels.
  2. Denying yourself the pleasures of your favourite foods
    Cauliflower does not need to be a substitute for mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust or anything else that you think tastes good.
    You can still eat your favourite foods and lose weight. Remember food quality and quantity is important. Fad diets often cause us to become hyper-focused on foods until it controls our life and prevents us from enjoying our favourite meals. When thinking about sustainable and realistic weight loss, we want to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Try this: instead of having 4 slices of pizza with your family, maybe you reduce it to 2 slices and choose a pizza full of vegetables instead of deli meats, and add a side salad or chopped vegetables and dip to round out your meal. When you classify foods as bad or good and then eat a food you’ve called “bad”, you end up telling yourself that you are bad. At the end of the day, food is food, and no particular food is better or worse for you (within reason, don’t go drinking olive oil direct from the bottle): it is all about how we include it in moderation. 

Nutrition and weight loss play a role in managing stress urinary incontinence as it reduces the pressure placed on your bladder. You are going to be more successful with weight loss if you think about your lifestyle and find something that fits your regular routine. If you need help strategizing meals that are nutritious and delicious, and can help keep you full while supporting weight changes, working with a registered dietitian can be a great starting point and can provide ongoing support.

Emily Campbell is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition. With years of nutrition experience, Emily is passionate about supporting individuals to make healthy eating delicious, nutritious, and easy to understand. Nutrition is complex, but Emily helps to break it down into easy-to-digest concepts to help individuals make sustainable nutrition changes that work with their preferences and lifestyle. Follow Emily here for more nutrition topics: 

Instagram: @kidneynutrition

Website: emilykidneynutrition.com

References:

  1. “FAQ’s,” The Canadian Continence Foundation, last modified 2021, accessed May 8, 2021 https://www.canadiancontinence.ca/EN/frequently-asked-questions.php 
  2. Emily L Whitcomb, Leslee L Subak, “Effect of weight loss on urinary incontinence in women,” Open Acess J Urol 3 (2011): 123-132, doi: 10.2147/OAJU.S21091 
  3. Rena R. Wing, et al., “Effect of Weight Loss on Urinary Incontinence in Overweight and Obese Women: Result of 12 and 18 Months,” Adult Urology 184, 3 (2010): 1005-1010, doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.05.031

Is my vagina broken?  What is pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence?

In our last blog, we talked about the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor or Kegel muscles.  We discovered that both male and female bodies have three LAYERS of muscle with multiple muscles in each layer. And that these muscles provide the following functions in our bodies:

  1. Supportive: of the pelvic organs (bladder, rectum, uterus, prostate)
  2. Sphincteric:  opening and closing of the urethra, vagina and anus
  3. Sexual:  contributing to arousal and orgasm
  4. Stabilizing:  with a host of other muscles pelvic floor contributes to stability of trunk, pelvis and hips
  5. Posture:  maintains good posture along with back and abdominal muscles
  6. Breathing:  the pelvic floor and your main breathing muscle, the diaphragm, coordinate together
  7. Pumps fluids: contraction and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles supports the flow of fluids in the body

Today we are going to learn about how pelvic floor function relates to pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). 

Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a condition where your internal pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum) have shifted position and lean toward the vagina.  This usually happens because the ligaments and support tissue that hold the organs in place have been stretched.  People with prolapse often have a sense of a bulge in the vagina or difficulty emptying their bladder or bowel.  The pelvic floor muscles can also play a role. Strong muscles might help support the displaced organ, while weak muscles might lead to more symptoms. You can read more about pelvic organ prolapse here.

  Normal Female Pelvic Anatomy vs. Cystocele (bladder prolapse). A dropped or prolapsed bladder (cystocele) occurs when the bladder bulges into the vaginal space. It results when the muscles and tissues that support the bladder give way.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) happens when you accidentally leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift, jump, run or otherwise experience an increase in intraabdominal pressure.  The urethra (tube from your bladder to the outside of you) doesn’t stay closed and some urine escapes.  This condition is often referred to as light bladder leakage and some women refer to SUI as their “mommy bladder,” reflecting the fact that childbirth often contributes or causes SUI to develop. 

  A diagram of a normal bladder & urethra (on the right) vs. a bladder & urethra that has stress urinary incontinence

A good analogy for SUI is a leaky faucet. It would be that the valve is just not closed all the way (weak muscles) or perhaps it is broken and unable to close (structural changes).  In the same way, there are various reasons why the urethra does not fully close and contributes to urine leakage. 

What causes bladder leakage related to stress urinary incontinence? There can be many factors that contribute to bladder leakage such as:

  1. Being overweight
  2. Straining with constipation
  3. Vaginal childbirth where you pushed for more than 2 hours or less than 30 minutes
  4. Vaginal childbirth with forceps
  5. Having multiple pregnancies and deliveries
  6. Having twins, triplets etc.
  7. Giving birth at an older age
  8. Damaged nerves
  9. Pelvic surgery
  10. Certain medications like diuretics or water pills

You can read more about stress incontinence here.

You might think that only nonfunctioning or weak muscles would present with the symptoms of stress incontinence or prolapse, but I can tell you from many years of experience that I have seen a range of muscle presentations with these symptoms. For example, often times women with leakage or prolapse develop a habit of habitually tightening their pelvic floor muscles which can lead to overactivity, pain and muscles that don’t function well.  

We will talk about the difference between and importance of pelvic floor strengthening or kegel exercises, relaxation, and coordination in a future blog! 

Wouldn’t it be helpful to know how YOUR pelvic floor muscles are functioning! 

A specialty trained pelvic health physical therapist can evaluate the state of your muscles and organs and provide a customized treatment program to meet the needs of your body.  Muscles can be trained through physical therapy to improve in function regardless of their current state.  

Now here’s some really good news. Uresta works regardless of pelvic floor muscle function and can provide immediate support to your organs, ligaments, and connective tissue.  Uresta works in theory like an ankle brace. Image you had a bad ankle sprain but really wanted to get back to running.  An ankle brace could support your body while you are working on your recovery.  The ankle brace might be something you use short term, or just as needed.  Or, maybe the injury to your ankle was more severe and using the brace may be an important part of your daily self-care.  

Use of Uresta to support the bladder and urethra works much the same way. Some people may use it just for exercise, while others will find the most benefit using it on a daily basis. Easily inserted vaginally, Uresta helps to keep the urethra closed and the bladder supported with increases in intraabdominal pressure, so that you can do the things in life you love without worrying about prolapse or leakage.  

There is no reason for women to suffer in silence with pelvic floor dysfunction, prolapse, or stress incontinence.  Help is available!  

Our former CEO, Carol Chapman, talks all about feelings of shame, the lack of funding in women’s health, and how Uresta’s changing the pee-leak game.

Women-led Uresta is changing the game for people suffering from pee leaks.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a very common condition suffered by 1 in 3 women globally and yet, as sufferers, even today, we largely suffer in silence. SUI, commonly referred to as Light Bladder Leakage (LBL), is a common result of childbirth and is triggered when women cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise.  Many women are affected by SUI for decades, and yet are still reluctant or embarrassed to speak out, most often continuing with traditional pads or opting for surgery (most often midurethral sling, sling surgery, and mesh surgery).

 

One of my closest friends for over 30 years suffered from SUI, as did I, and we never once spoke of it despite discussing almost everything else in our lives.  She even had multiple surgeries to try and address her stress urinary incontinence and after 8 years she was still experiencing leaks. Today, both of us are successful users of Uresta bladder support and wish that we would have simply opened up about this issue years prior and been empowered to find better solutions for ourselves.  Like so many other women, she could have avoided surgery altogether.

 

I first heard of Uresta bladder support and met its inventor, urogynecologist Dr. Scott Farrell, when a former colleague introduced us for a potential marketing consulting engagement.  I immediately realized what an extraordinary product I had just been introduced to and quickly rallied a group of women entrepreneurs that I knew would be interested in investing in the business. Whether they had SUI or not, they all knew women who did, and recognized the terrible stigma and embarrassment associated with stress urinary incontinence.  It was clear to us from day one that Uresta introduced a new sense of empowerment to female SUI sufferers that was safe, comfortable, effective, non-invasive, and affordable. Gone were the days of uncontrolled leaks, urine, odour, wet pads and avoidance of outings with friends and family. While traditional pessary devices for treating SUI have been around for decades, Uresta was one of kind in that it is a self-managed pessary. Women can easily remove or insert Uresta, unlike other pessary devices which need to be removed, inserted and cleaned by a physician multiple times a year. Uresta offers the self-managed aspect of pads but the elimination of leaks and odour offered by a pessary – offering the ultimate bladder support for women.

 

Today, Uresta continues to be a game changer in female incontinence and our Company’s efforts are focused on building awareness regarding SUI and letting women know a better solution than surgery, traditional pessaries and pads exists.  Whether women are in their 30s or 60s, they truly need to know an amazing option exists that will allow them the quality of life and empowerment they deserve. Our goal is simple, to educate and inspire a growing community of women everywhere to stop allowing bladder leaks to hold them back from anything!

Promoting Uresta at a healthcare conference in 2018

 

As women entrepreneurs, we understood our approach to market needed to be credible, relevant, thoughtful, and informative, while also being bold, direct, and disruptive.  It has taken decades for women to even admit they suffer from SUI and that they deserve credible options to live their best “life without leaks”. Our conversations are multi-faceted with the goal of reaching all possible influencers, to ensure the compelling story of Uresta reaches healthcare professionals, insurers, advocate groups and most importantly women, that on average will be affected by SUI at some point in their lives.

 

Our shareholder group continues to be comprised of a number of successful and influential women; the chair of a top Canadian bank, CEO of a renewable energy company, lead partner for a global consulting firm, division head of a global pharmaceutical company, and many other successful professionals and entrepreneurs.  These champions of Uresta recognize the need for change and that women’s health globally, has been underfunded for decades.

Uresta  wins 2016 Product of the Year Canada award in the adult care incontinence category.

In early 2021, I retired as Uresta’s CEO and remain an active board member, shareholder and proud advocate for Uresta and women’s health.  As part of this transition, we were excited to bring on our new CEO, Lauren Barker, a bright accomplished young female leader who will help grow consumer awareness and introduce Uresta to more women than ever before.

 

Today’s generation of women boldly advocate for their own health and are far less embarrassed to admit they suffer from conditions such as SUI. Massive change is happening, lets be bold together.

What IS the pelvic floor and what does it DO in my body?

An Introduction to Pelvic Floor Anatomy and Function in Women & Men

The Pelvic Floor is finally starting to get the press it fully deserves in our culture.  As a Physical Therapist who specializes in pelvic health, I often see magazine articles, websites and new products being developed to help educate, empower and support pelvic floor function.

But I am willing to bet that most of us are not very familiar with the unique architecture and function of this remarkable part of our body.  Read on for an anatomy lesson on the pelvic floor and learn about all the important bodily functions it plays a key role in.

The pelvic floor complex is comprised of 10 muscles in female bodies and 8 muscles in male bodies that are formed into three layers.  The following is a tour through each of those layers’ structure and function.

Functions of Your pelvic floor muscles

  1. Supportive
  2. Sphincteric
  3. Sexual
  4. Stabilizing
  5. Posture
  6. Breathing
  7. Pumps Fluids

 

Layer 1: Muscles that support sexual and support functions

In female bodies, layer one pelvic floor muscles support the vaginal and anal openings by forming the band of tissue between the vagina and the anus (perineum).  These muscles help with blood flow to the clitoris during arousal and hug the vaginal opening.

 

Muscle of the female perineumThese muscles are often injured or torn during vaginal childbirth. 

In male bodies, layer one is also helpful for sexual functioning by maintaining erection, plays a role in urination, and provides muscular support to the area between the testicles and the anus (perineum).  Weakness in these muscles can contribute to urinary leakage and erectile dysfunction.

In both male and female bodies, the external anal sphincter is also part of layer one muscles.  The anal sphincter plays a big role in coordinating defecation.

 

 

Muscle of the male perineum

 

Layer 2: Muscles that coordinate and control urination

Female bodies are more prone to issues with urinary incontinence for several reasons:  they lack a prostate gland, have a shorter urethra, may experience the stress and strain of pregnancy and childbirth, and lose estrogen which may negatively affect continence.  Luckily, the second layer of pelvic floor muscles offers some compensation for this.  Male bodies have just two muscles here, while female bodies have four that offer additional support around closing the urethra.

These muscles may be weak, poorly coordinated, or overactive which usually presents as urinary dysfunction:  leakage, urgency, spraying, dribbling.

 

Layer 3: Muscles that support our pelvic organs

The third layer is relatively the same in both female male bodies and is busy with many functions.  These muscles provide support for the pelvic organs (bladder, urethra, rectum and prostate in male bodies; bladder, urethra, vagina, uterus, and rectum in female bodies).    They are important for sexual functioning and orgasm.  The third layer of pelvic floor muscles also join in with a network of other muscles of the body to provide postural stability, coordinate with the diaphragm (the main breathing muscle) to assist in breathing, and even form a kind of pump to help move blood and fluids from the lower body back to the heart.

 

This layer is susceptible to stretch injury from pregnancy and childbirth, weakness from chronic straining (lifting, coughing, constipation), problems from nerve damage or surgery, and structural weakness that happens with loss of estrogen.

Overactivity in this layer can occur with chronic pain, trauma, musculoskeletal problems like low back or hip pain, surgery, clenching/stress and tension, and tailbone injuries.

Levator ani structure

Your hip bone’s connected to your …

Pelvic floor view looking from above

There is one more muscle I’d like to highlight, that isn’t exactly a pelvic floor muscle but sometimes gets called part of the pelvic WALL.  This muscle is interesting and unique in that it is actually a HIP muscle and it’s job is to externally rotate and stabilize the hip joint.  BUT it literally attaches right into the pelvic floor.  Sooo your hip bone IS attached to your pelvis just like the old song says!

This image shows the view of the pelvic floor looking from above.  You can see the Obturator Internus muscle outlined in blue (with arrows) and the third layer of the pelvic floor outlined in red.

Research has found that this muscle is also an important factor in pelvic floor function and via it’s anatomy, it links hip and pelvic function.

Studies in both female and male bodies show that exercising this muscle can be just as effective as exercising your pelvic floor in relieving stress urinary incontinence or accidental urine leakage.

I bet you just got a pretty good education on a part of your body you didn’t know much about!  In our next blog we’ll talk about how problems in pelvic floor muscle function occur and the symptoms this can cause.

If you like learning, stay tuned for future blog posts covering topics like …

  • What happens when there is pelvic floor dysfunction?
  • Why pelvic health is more than just kegels.
  • What can I do about incontinence?
  • What is pressure management and why is it important?
  • What’s a prolapse? And do I need surgery?
  • What’s all the fuss about constipation?
  • …. And much more!

Who is Jennafer Vande Vegte MSPT, BCB-PMD, PRPC?

After graduating from Ithaca College, Jennafer began her career as a physical therapist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2002 Jen has focused her professional attention on treating women, men and children with pelvic health disorders. She is energized through education and enjoys her position as adjunct faculty at Grand Valley University, speaking at community events, organizing a regional pelvic floor mentorship and study group, and didn’t necessarily enjoy but survived part time home schooling her two daughters. She has been faculty for Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute since 2009 and loves to inspire other rehab professionals treating pelvic floor dysfunction. She is an author of the chapter, “Manual Therapy for the Pelvic Floor” which was published in the book, “Healing in Urology.” Jen was a contributing writer for the Pelvic Floor Capstone and Oncology and the Pelvic Floor for Herman and Wallace and also co-authored the continuing education course, “Boundaries, Self-Care and Meditation” with Nari Clemons. She is certified in pelvic floor rehabilitation and biofeedback for pelvic floor disorders. Outside of teaching and treating patients, Jen loves to spend time with family and friends, run, cook, travel, do yoga and snuggle with her doggo.

Why solutions for stress urinary incontinence are outdated and archaic

The market for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) solutions has undeniably seen a history of underinvestment and underdevelopment. Femtech is currently growing at unprecedented rates as the result of women’s healthcare being characterized as under-funded, under-researched and insufficient for several years1. A lack of innovation has partly been driven by a lack of confidence from women in expressing their concerns around their own health, especially when it comes to embarrassing and taboo issues like urinary incontinence. We often hear from many physicians that women do not even feel comfortable raising the issue of SUI with their doctors, let alone their friends. It is only in recent years, that we have seen an openness from women to talk about common health issues like menstruation, urinary incontinence, or post-partum issues. Lack of communication surrounding the issue has hidden it from mainstream focus, and likely contributed to the lack of innovation in the space.

traditional solutions for SUI fall short plain and simple

SUI was hardly a matter of discussion (or even relative concern) for physicians prior to the 20th century. In fact, many issues concerning women’s health were neglected or considered taboo for much of the course of history. Early attempts at correcting urinary leakage included rudimentary belts that supported cloth underwear, external bags made of pig bladder tissue (!), and milkweed leaves as undergarments. Even well into the 1900s, technology had not progressed past the use of folded linen cloths, tucked into undergarments and washed with clothes. Today, we know that as many as 1 in 2 women will experience some form of urinary leaking in their lifetime, particularly at age 45 and older – and half of those women experience SUI.2 Incontinence is not only a normal condition, it’s incredibly common.

A great parallel can be drawn between the evolution of menstrual products and the conception and development of aids for urinary incontinence. Historically, menstrual hygiene solutions were mostly left for women to solve on their own. The same is true of urinary incontinence – many of the same primitive techniques for menstrual hygiene management were used to “treat” SUI.

Early menstrual hygiene solutions came from the Ancient Greeks, who created the world’s first tampons out of bits of wood and lint, and the Ancient Egyptians, who fashioned the world’s first absorbent pads out of softened papyrus. Despite these early versions of pads and tampons, thousands of years passed before significant innovations were made in menstrual hygiene. As the rest of the world modernized itself, stigmas and taboos concerning women’s health stayed stuck in the Dark Ages. At the turn of the 19th century, as new light was shed on the importance of cleanliness, crude cloth pads and aprons were finally produced and marketed publicly. Though an important step forward, the treatments for SUI even as little as 100 years ago seem primeval and almost satirical in hindsight.

Feminine Hygiene Products in the early 1900s

Contraptions like these were very commonly used in the early 1900s for periods and incontinence. Made of cloth and leather straps, they had to be washed frequently to avoid odour.

As time went on, companies like Kotex and Johnson-Johnson realized the need for absorbent, disposable pads, in lieu of bulky undergarments resembling an odd form of medieval punishment. Women were now able to use and dispose of pads more frequently without needing to wash them. The development of disposable, discreet pads provided much-needed relief from bulky, unhygienic cloth belts and aprons. For the first time, ads in papers and catalogues could be found for women’s health products. The stigmatic, taboo nature of women’s hygiene was slowly beginning to normalize.

But even the rapid development and marketing of disposable pads didn’t provide a feasible solution to urinary incontinence. Pads absorb leaks, but they don’t stop them from happening. They’re fairly high-maintenance, and active women can’t always find time to change them as frequently as they’d like, leaving them damp, uncomfortable, and with odour. As with most disposable goods, pads end up in landfills, so they’re not environmentally-friendly either. With a cumulative cost of US$1000+ per year, there is clearly a need for a more cost-effective, modern, innovative solution for SUI.

As we moved into the latter half of the 20th century, the advent of the pessary – a kind of device that is inserted into the vagina to support the urethra and bladder wall – provided a new alternative to SUI management. Rather than having to change and dispose of pads several times per day, pessaries helped to prevent leaks before they happened. Surgeries to correct incontinence were becoming more common, but were reserved for more extreme cases. Traditional pessaries took on a ring-like shape, while later developments assumed a host of different styles.

Vaginal Pessaries Vaginal Pessaries

Traditional pessaries are required to be inserted, cleaned, and removed by a physician. As a result, women must visit their physician up to 4 times per year. Pessaries can also often get dislodged from original placement, requiring further physician visits.

Traditional pessaries are not free from shortcomings. Though they showed merit in treating SUI, they had to be fitted by healthcare professionals, which can be an invasive and uncomfortable experience that prevents many from undertaking it. Many pessaries are meant to be replaced every 1-3 months, requiring recurring visits to clinics for fittings and check-ups. Considering the cost of not only purchasing new devices, but repeated clinic visits, pessaries can be just as expensive as pads on a yearly basis.

Today, women seeking relief from urinary incontinence face a host of treatment options. One end of the spectrum offers non-invasive, passive treatment, in the form of pads and diapers. The other end sees surgical procedures, both expensive and invasive. A more middle-of-the-pack alternative was born with the invention of the traditional SUI pessary, but are inconvenient as they require frequent physician visits. Seeing this, urogynecologist Dr. Scott Farrell set out in the early 2000s to improve pessary technology, with a focus on self-management. Dr. Farrell recognized the importance of offering effective SUI solutions that were both effective and accessible. Uresta, a self-managed, reusable, and innovative device designed to stop leaks before they happen, was created.

Uresta, the only self-managed pessary for stress urinary incontinence

Uresta allows women to have full control over their ability to manage stress urinary incontinence. A range of sizes allows women to find the one that best suits them, without needing to be fitted by a physician. The handle allows for simple insertion and removal by the woman.

Previously, the breadth of self-managed treatments was mostly limited to pads, Uresta fits like a tampon and lasts for up to a year. Uresta stops or significantly reduces bladder leaks associated with SUI verses absorbing them like pads. Uresta is one of the most exciting new products in women’s health; not only for its effectiveness in preventing physical symptoms, but for its power in improving quality of life. Ongoing SUI is not only an issue of discomfort and inconvenience, but of overall well-being. Left untreated, SUI can lead to anxiety and depression3-5. Allowing women to take control of their own treatment, devices like Uresta break down the barriers facing those who seek to regain their confidence and overcome SUI on their own.

As mentioned, advances in solutions for menstrual hygiene have often trigged advancement in solutions for managing stress urinary incontinence. We’ve seen a shift in the last decade towards from pads to tampons and to menstrual cups (e.g. DivaCup, FLEX, Nixit, Lena, Saalt, etc.) . Younger women are adopting menstrual cups at a much faster rate than their older counterparts. As these younger demographics progress in age, have children, and develop SUI are, understandably, shocked at the prospect of reverting to using pads as “treatment”. Absorbent pads seem rather arcane, especially compared to the innovation we’ve seen in the adjacent market for menstrual products. The need for a better solution for SUI has never been more apparent.

Women today are more empowered to speak up about their health concerns. The normalization of discussions concerning women’s health have allowed people who struggle with SUI to seek better alternatives and ditch the status quo. Traditional solutions for SUI fall short, plain and simple. The switch to better alternatives for managing SUI is long overdue. In the same way that we look back on arcane treatments for SUI with disdain, we must recognize that many products on the market today are simply newer versions of technology that are thousands of years old. Every woman deserves to live life, leak-free, and we truly believe Uresta is the revolutionary solution the stress urinary incontinence market desperately deserves.

  1. https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/femtech-market
  2. The Canadian Continence Foundation; 2014
  3. Bogner HR, Gallo JJ, Sammel MD, Ford DE, Armenian HK, Eaton WW. Urinary incontinence and psychological distress in community-dwelling older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 2002; 50:489-95.
  4. Meade-D’Alisera P, Merriweather T, Wentland M, Fatal M, Ghafar M. Depression symptoms in women with urinary incontinence: a prospective study. Urol Nurs. 2001; 21(6): 397-399.
  5. Coyne KS, Wein AJ, Tubaro A, et al. The burden of lower urinary tract symptoms: evaluating the effect of LUTS on health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression: EpiLUTS. BJU Int 2009; 103 (S3): 4-11.

All I Want for Christmas is… A uresta® Starter Kit!

By: Ashley Miller

‘Tis the season to be Jolly! Fa la la la la la la……

But seriously, can you make it through the Holiday season without singing the many carols that you hear non-stop? They are always on the radio, playing in the stores, and your kids are singing them at their Christmas programs at school.

I know that I am a sucker for Christmas music and movies. A soon as the clock strikes Black Friday, I am “that” person. I stop and grab a Peppermint Mocha on my way to the mall and start my Christmas shopping, come home and decorate my tree and the house. I may or may not start wearing my gingerbread flannel pajama pants in October due to the anticipation of the holiday season.

For real, I get a little overly excited.

As I sat down to start writing my blog about uresta, I turned on my Christmas music (don’t judge me) to try and think about what I wanted to write. Before I knew it, I was humming along and started writing a song…not a blog.

I hope you enjoy (and laugh without leaking)!

All I want for Christmas
Is a uresta Starter Kit
A uresta Starter Kit
Just a uresta Starter Kit
Gee, if I could only have a uresta Starter Kit
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas

It seems so long since I could say
“When was the last time I laughed without peeing my pants?”
Gosh, oh gee
How happy I’d be
If I could only stop dribbling pee
All I want for Christmas
Is a uresta Starter Kit
A uresta Starter Kit
Just a uresta Starter Kit
Gee, if I could only have a uresta Starter Kit
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas

All I want for Christmas
Is a uresta Starter Kit
A uresta Starter Kit
Just a uresta Starter Kit
Gee, if I could only have a uresta Starter Kit
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas

Santa Claus and his reindeer
Used to bring me lots of wine and laughs
But now when I celebrate
I can’t help but urinate

All I want for Christmas
Is a uresta Starter Kit
A uresta Starter Kit
Just a uresta Starter Kit
Gee, if I could only have a uresta Starter Kit
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas
Then I could wish you a Merry Christmas

Bringing innovation to sufferers…

Adult incontinence is one of the fastest-growing segments in healthcare today.

Our recent experience at the American Urogynecologists Society (AUGS) PFD conference (pelvic floor disorders) in Chicagoconfirmed conditions like SUI are a growing concern and we saw, first hand, how pelvic floor health care professionals are embracing uresta® as an important tool to help women with SUI (stress urinary incontinence).

And the response was overwhelming! We were run off our feet describing how uresta® works and how it helps women get back to doing the things that their SUI prevents them from doing – like exercising, walking, sneezing, laughing, travelling, etc.

Knowing uresta® was invented by a fellow urogynecologist, Dr. Scott Farrell, many of the medical professionals we spoke to were impressed with the innovation of the unique bladder support.

They reacted most positively that uresta® is self-managed by the patient and that, for women aged 30-70+, it was a great option for SUI. For younger women, in their 30’s and 40’s, many urogynecologists feel surgery is not ideal – they prefer to wait until women are finished having children before considering surgery as an option.

They saw uresta® as an easy, affordable and comfortable solution for SUI – something that women would love for maximum flexibility. Women who have used innovative products like diva cups and Caya (diaphragms) over the last 20 years have a high comfort level using uresta® to prevent bladder leaks – it’s a similar experience to using a tampon.

Joining me to help introduce uresta® at the conference was Missy Lavender, a well-known industry advocate for pelvic health education, and CEO of Below Your BeltElizabeth Wood, chief vision officer and COO of Below Your Belt, and Ashley Miller, marketing lead for HPSRx, our US distributor.

We are working to broaden the awareness of uresta® with pelvic floor health care professionals in North America and around the world with the goal of helping all women with SUI to stop leaking and start living!

More about AUGS
The American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) is the premier non-profit organization representing more than 1900 professionals dedicated to treating female pelvic floor disorders. AUGS is the primary source of clinical and scientific information and education in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS).

Read more about uresta® at www.uresta.com

Resilia Medical Solutions strikes distribution deal for medical device

Uresta inks co-distribution deal with pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare Canada.

By Rachel Cave, CBC News Posted: Oct 06, 2016 6:30 AM

Shediac company hopes new deal will create jobs, expand reach of its female incontinence product.

A New Brunswick company that makes a medical device to reduce bladder leakage in women recently inked a co-distribution deal with pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare Canada.

Stephen Goddard, the chief executive officer of Resilia Medical Solutions of Shediac, said the new deal should bring exponential sales growth and spur local hiring.

“This is an off-the-chart change for what it will do to our sales,” said Goddard.

Goddard said while business has been steady, it’s nothing like what it will be with the co-distribution deal.

“We’d been chugging along. In a given month, we might sell several dozen,” said Goddard.

“This will take us into the hundreds … if not 1,000 to 2,000 units per month.”

Compared to rubber tampon

The product, sold under the brand name Uresta, has been compared to a rubber tampon.

It’s a thumb-length plug that’s inserted into the vagina and pinches closed the urethra to stop urine from escaping when a woman is exercising or when she laughs or coughs.

Resilia Medical Solutions’ device to help prevent female medical incontinence has been described as a rubber tampon. (CBC)

Resilia bought the design from urogynaecologist Dr. Scott Farrell, a professor at Dalhousie University’s faculty of medicine.

Currently, it’s manufactured in Barrie, Ont., by a company called Southmedic.

Goddard said there may come a day when production can move into New Brunswick but that’s probably in the distant future.

Meanwhile, he said he expects to hire closer to home to get more people in sales and marketing support.

“Right now, we’re a three-person company,” said Goddard.

“By the end of next year, I hope to be 10 to 15.”

Goddard said he’s hoping for a payroll as large as 50 people, possibly within three years.

Nation-wide access

Founded in 2014, Aspen Pharmacare Canada is expected to help Resilia get its product in front of doctors and pharmacies.

“It gives us nation-wide access to a group of individuals that we essentially had no way to get to,” said Goddard.

It’s a relatively new branch of a global pharmaceutical giant that got its start in South Africa, making generic antiviral medications to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the parent company (APN) said it has 10,000 employees around the globe.

It’s a thumb-length plug that’s inserted into the vagina and pinches closed the urethra to stop urine from escaping when a woman is exercising or when she laughs or coughs. (Resilia Medical Solutions)

Resilia’s main marketing strategy to date has been word of mouth, social media and direct sales online and the New Brunswick staff will continue with that.

The Uresta Bladder Support device is licensed by Health Canada.

A starter kit of three sizes costs about $300.

The Canadian Continence Foundation estimated in 2014 that 14,000 women in New Brunswick experienced some form of female incontinence, sometimes aggravated by factors such as vaginal childbirth, ageing and obesity.

When the whole country is taken into account, the number rose to 714,000.

Women have surpassed men in obesity rates.

Why do some women struggle with weight loss?
By Allie Shah, Tribune News Service

Women have surpassed men in obesity rates, according to a national report released this summer. Photo: Fotolia

MINNEAPOLIS • Frances Traphagan has been battling weight issues her whole life.

For years, the south Minneapolis mom struggled to balance work demands and motherhood. After every pregnancy, her weight problem grew. Her habit of eating on the run also tipped the scales in the wrong direction.

Finally, at 240 pounds, the five-foot-three Traphagan chose to have bariatric surgery at the Hennepin Bariatric Center and Obesity Program at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“It was my very last effort to try to lose weight,” she said. She’d tried everything before that – from Weight Watchers to the Atkins diet to the grapefruit diet. “I did have some success, but nothing was ever permanent,”she said.
After a national report this summer showed that women have surpassed men in obesity rates, doctors and obesity researchers are searching for answers to why women are struggling more.

For the first time, more than 40 per cent of U.S.women are obese, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nation as a whole continues to struggle with obesity, with 35 percent of men considered obese. But while men’s obesity rates appear to have stabilized, women’s are still rising, the CDC report shows.

Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who works with overweight and obese patients, has been working in the obesity research field for 20 years. She said the recent findings give her pause about whether public health officials are taking the right approach to tackling obesity. “All of that makes you question: Are you on the right track?” she said. “The data would say no.” That so many women are obese is cause for alarm not only because of the increased health risks for them but also for those around them, Collazo-Clavell said.

“That’s kind of the tip of the iceberg,” she said. Women are often the primary caregivers in a family, and their eating and activity habits can influence their children and others in their family.

An example of that ripple effect: Collazo-Clavell is starting to see some of her previous patients’ children and is working with them to help manage their obesity.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what is causing women to struggle more with obesity than men,but doctors say there likely are many factors at play.

Women typically have two times in their lives when they are at risk of gaining significant amounts of weight: childbearing (during pregnancy and after giving birth) and menopause.

Collazo-Clavell hears from many new mothers that they find meal planning and preparation tough after giving birth. Also of concern,she notes that women as a group are going into pregnancy heavier than they were 20 years ago.

It makes it harder to manage a healthy pregnancy weight if they’re already overweight, she said.

One of the country’s leading health problems, obesity can lead to serious diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing weight (in kilograms) by height squared (in centimeters). Anyone with a BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 30 or more are obese.

For example, a woman of average height in the U.S. (five-foot-four) would be classified as obese if she weighs at least 175 pounds. An average height American man (five-foot-nine) who weighs 203 pounds or more would be considered obese.
Dr. Guilford Hartley is medical director of the Hennepin Bariatric Center and Obesity Program,where 100 surgeries for weight management are performed each year.

He sees many more female patients than men. Part of the reason, he said, is that women are more likely to seek medical treatment for a weight issue than men.

“In our culture, when a man’s overweight, nobody pays too much attention,” he said.“But we have such an emphasis on being thin for women that we’re culturally forcing women to be more concerned about their weight than men. The social pressure if you’re overweight and a woman is higher.”

Resilia Inc. partners with HPSRx Enterprises, Inc. to bring uresta® to the U.S. market.

(Moncton) – Resilia Inc., the makers of uresta® Bladder Support for Women are excited to announce that they have a signed agreement with women’s healthcare distributor HPSRx Enterprises, Inc. and have joined forces to bring uresta® to women across the United States.

uresta® is a simple, safe and effective solution for women suffering from light bladder leakage (“LBL”), clinically known of as “stress urinary incontinence” (“SUI”).

“We’re excited to be expanding the reach of our innovative solution by inking the deal to bring uresta® to all women in the U.S.,” says Stephen Goddard, CEO for Resilia, Inc. “We’re expecting exponential sales growth with this expansion into the United States.”

Our unique patented product offers women the best solution available on the market today and it’s 100% Canadian developed and manufactured

uresta® is an innovative solution that gives women the freedom to enjoy life without having to worry about bladder leaks. And what’s more, uresta®’s design also ensures that women stay dry, odour free and avoid filling up landfills with disposable products.

uresta® was invented by world‐renowned Urogynecologist, Dr. Scott A. Farrell, MD FRCSC Professor, Division Head‐ Gynecology, Clinical Division: Urogynecology, Dalhousie University.

“Stress urinary incontinence is so common that we should be talking about real solutions that work for women,” says Carol Chapman, VP Marketing for Resilia.“That’s why we’re so proud of uresta® – it’s a little product that has a big impact on the quality of life for women. No more pads. No more self‐consciousness. I’m excited for what this means for vibrant, active women everywhere.”

uresta® is available online in the U.S. and Canada and at selected retail locations. (Ask your pharmacist to order uresta® for you – quick and easy.) For more information, visit www.uresta.com.

About HPSRx Enterprises, Inc.
HPSRx Enterprises, Inc. is a wholesale distributor specializing in women’s health.  They provide pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and over 90,000 items of medical supplies. They are licensed to ship to all 50 states and Puerto Rico. HPSRX also complies with Pedigree regulations.

About Resilia
Resilia Inc. manufactures and sells uresta®, the only reusable, self-managed medical device for female stress urinary incontinence that has been clinically proven to completely eliminate or significantly reduce the involuntary loss of urine. FDA cleared, licensed under Health Canada, and CE marked, with global patents on the device, uresta® is the only reusable, highly effective, and self-managed solution available.

Media Contact:
Carol Chapman
506‐961‐3449