Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Jason Bailey
Experts say that at some point in their lives, more than half of all women will experience urinary leakage, commonly triggered by laughing, coughing, exercise or some other kind of stress on the bladder.
Many will be too embarrassed to talk about it, let alone seek treatment. But taking care of the problem is really very simple.
Childbirth, aging and hormonal changes are the most common causes of stress urinary incontinence.
Paul Siami, M.D. says, "Many people have thought that, 'well there is no treatment for this, so why do I want to waste my time with it?' or maybe they've been too ashamed to come and talk about it."
Siami adds, "But I think as we put it more and more into the public view, hopefully more and more people will come out and say, 'I have a problem I would like to get fixed.' and fixing it, takes about ten minutes with the new Tegress implant.
Doctor Siami takes a scope and passes it through the urethra, first checking the bladder and then pulling it back to the middle of this muscular canal that carries urine out of the body. With a tiny needle, he injects the bulking agent just under the lining.
"They do this real, real gently because this comes out as a solution as I'm injecting it and then it becomes a solid underneath," says Siami.
The Tegress implant starts out as a liquid and then turns into a spongy solid.
Once injected into two areas of urethra, the material actually becomes part of the contour of the sphincter, making it stronger and giving the patient more control. This bulking technique isn't new, doctors have used collagen and other synthetic agents in the past.
The Tegress implant simply provides longer-lasting results. "Some people, about 20-percent, after one injection, they're dry, they're happy and nothing else needs to be done, but about 50-percent need a second injection, and then another 25-percent may need a third injection," says Siami.
After a third injection, eight-out-of-ten patients will be rid of their embarrassing problem.
Possible complications include infection and urinary retention, but that's usually temporary.