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Kate Dyson


Kate is a content writer, social media obsessive and community creator. She's also mum to three kids, two dogs and unsurprisingly, a lover of wine.

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For words you might want to know more


A surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus. Hysterectomies can be complete (removing the entire uterus and cervix) or partial (leaving the cervix in place). This procedure is commonly performed to treat a variety of conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, or cancer. After a hysterectomy, a woman is no longer able to become pregnant

Tibial Nerve Stimulation (TNS)

This is a non-surgical treatment for incontinence that uses electrical impulses to stimulate the tibial nerve, which plays a role in bladder control.

Strategies for women recovering from a hysterectomy and experiencing urinary incontinence

There's no getting away from it - hysterectomy is a major operation for women. So it's not surprising that the recovery period can be lengthy and for some of us, complicated.

One of the complications that can arise post-hysterectomy is urinary incontinence; which may come as quite a shock when you've hoped for the hysterectomy to improve your health.

Understanding the Post-Hysterectomy Anatomy and Urinary Incontinence

As a starting point, it's important to understand why urinary incontinence can occur post-hysterectomy. The female pelvic region is complex and contains many closely situated structures that work together in a finely tuned manner. One of those is the uterus, which is positioned in close proximity to the bladder. During a hysterectomy, the uterus is removed, which can impact the surrounding structures, including the bladder and its supporting tissues. This can lead to stress urinary incontinence (SUI), where urine leaks when pressure is applied to the bladder, often through laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercise.

How to manage post-hysterectomy incontinence

There are many well-known strategies that can be effective in managing urinary incontinence after a hysterectomy. These may include pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, and lifestyle modifications, such as changes in fluid intake and dietary habits. Each of these can offer significant relief and should be considered a first-line response in managing urinary incontinence. Your GP can also refer you to a women's health physiotherapist who can help.

Tibial Nerve Stimulation: A Deeper Dive

Tibial nerve stimulation is an often recommended treatment option for urinary incontinence, and it's worth exploring in detail. The technique involves sending mild electrical pulses to the tibial nerve, which runs down the leg and can influence the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. This stimulation can modify the signals that cause incontinence, thus reducing symptoms.

Now, it's crucial to understand that tibial nerve stimulation is not a quick fix. It typically involves a series of treatments over 12 weeks, and the effectiveness of the treatment can be individual. Some people may experience significant improvement in their symptoms, while others may notice more subtle changes. It's important to keep an open line of communication with your GP, or consultant, throughout this process to ensure that the treatment is working effectively for you.

What Else to Consider

Beyond the well-trodden paths of managing urinary incontinence are some lesser-known factors. For instance, the emotional and psychological impact of dealing with urinary incontinence after a hysterectomy can sometimes be overlooked. Addressing these factors with a psychologist or a support group can prove to be immensely helpful. You will also find our 'Jude and Friends Community' a great source of support.

You might find that pads and leak-proof pants also help while you are in the recovery phase too. Leak-proof pants work really well for post-hysterectomy incontinence because they are soft to the skin, supportive and help you to feel 'normal' after surgery.

Also, consider potential complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, which has shown some promise in managing urinary incontinence. While more research is needed in this area, this could potentially serve as an additional support in your toolbox for managing urinary incontinence.

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