A Patient's Journey with Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

By: Urology Care Foundation | Posted on: 08 Jul 2020

A Patient's Journey with Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

Tracy Shepler a is a retired hair dresser and mother of five. After her third child was delivered by caesarian section, she was diagnosed with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

SUI is a condition where physical movement or activity (such as coughing, sneezing, running) puts pressure (stress) on the bladder. This stress causes urine to leak. Tracy couldn't stop the leaks on her own, so she went to her OB-GYN. Tracy's OB-GYN performed a surgery to insert a vaginal midurethral sling. But she still had leakage problems.

A few years later, a friend told Tracy to go see a urologist. The urologist said Tracy should get a new sling. "I was very nervous, but the urologist was very comforting," says Tracy.

The procedure was done a few days before Christmas. But, the timing of the procedure around a busy holiday and the unfortunate event of a trapped house pet combined for a less-than-ideal recovery.

"My cat was stuck in a hole and when I reached to rescue her, I felt my stitches rip!" Tracy said.

The procedure was repeated, and this time with much better success.

"My advice for someone with urine leakage is to see a urologist," Tracy urges. "Based on your symptoms, you can get help. My SUI was best treated with sling surgery. I would also tell people to rest well during this type of recovery. The doctors know best!" Tracy jokes, recalling her cat issue.

"Also, find a health care team with a great, positive attitude-and a physical therapist to help you perform bladder control exercises," she adds.

Tracy says the exercises are hard to do every day but they truly help. Tracy now says she feels an 80% improvement over her SUI symptoms.

"With good care and rest, you can get better!"