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COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Female Incontinence

Urinary incontinence in women is very common problem, with four out of every ten experiencing some form of incontinence during their lifetime.

What are the main types of female incontinence?

  • Stress incontinence: for example, leaking urine when coughing.
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, the menopause, hysterectomy and obesity can all lead to stress incontinence.
  • Urge incontinence: where a patient has an overactive bladder
    Sudden urgency, which can result in leaking.
  • Mixed incontinence: a combination of stress incontinence and overactivity.

Female incontinence treatment

We offer the full range of treatments, from non-invasive therapies to advanced surgical techniques, which are designed to treat patients individually, according to their symptoms and type of condition. In some cases, symptoms of incontinence are caused by a urinary tract infection or cystitis.

Treatment may include non-invasive therapies including behavioural therapy, pelvic floor exercises and medication and invasive treatments including acupuncture, minimally invasive techniques and surgery.

We offer continuous support, ensuring you are looked after at all times, using minimally invasive approaches where possible, and find an effective solution for you.

Tension free vaginal tape – transobturator route (TVT-O)

A tension free obturator tape is a treatment for stress incontinence, the leakage of urine, which occurs with activity such as coughing, lifting or sneezing. TVT-O is a newer alternative to the tension free vaginal tape (TVT). Both treatments are designed to act like a hammock, supporting the urethra and helping it to close more tightly when the abdominal pressure is raised during coughing or exercising. The tape stays in place permanently.

Fitting a transobturator tape

The procedure takes place under a general or spinal anaesthetic. A small incision (about 2 cm) is made in the vagina just below the opening of the urethra and a polypropylene tape (similar to the material used for surgical sutures) is passed outwards through small (0.5 cm) incisions made in the inner thigh. The tape is positioned without tension under the urethra and acts as a ‘backboard’ to support the urethral continence mechanism (sphincter) when coughing. The incisions are the closed with dissolvable stitches which disappear within 2-3 weeks of surgery. The TVT-O procedure takes about 30 minutes.

How effective is transobturator tape in curing incontinence?

Stress incontinence is common after childbirth with more than one-third of women having some degree of leakage. In these women, TVT-O is effective with over 80% completely dry or much improved after surgery. Most women are able to be as active as they like after placement of a transobturator tape, for example, lifting children, dancing or exercising. As a result, 18 out of every 20 women are satisfied by the results of the procedure. TVT-O is not a treatment for urge incontinence. In women who have an overactive bladder as well as stress incontinence, secondary medicine or neuromodulation treatment may be required to treat urge symptoms.

What should I expect immediately after the procedure?

When you return to the ward, a catheter is present. This is a tube temporarily draining the bladder. The catheter is usually removed after a few hours. Once you have passed urine, you can leave the ward and go home. This may be the same day, or sometimes the day after the operation. If the operation has been combined with a procedure for prolapse, you will probably be in hospital for a longer period of time. Your stitches will dissolve spontaneously within two to three weeks.

Contact us

London Urology provides a full service for people suffering with Female Incontinence. In particular,Mr Jeremy Ockrimis a specialist in this area and is able to offer expert advice and treatment methods to suit your individual needs. To book an appointment you can email londonurology@hje.org.uk or call 020 7432 8297

Urology Clinic

Our private urology clinic in London uses the latest techniques to give you the best diagnosis, intervention and aftercare for any urology problem you may be suffering from, allowing you to get back to your normal life as soon as possible.  We provide our urology Consultants with the most modern diagnostic equipment, so they can quickly find out what’s wrong. They also have four operating theatres at their disposal to carry out procedures, which cuts waiting times.

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7432 8297.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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