Thanks to the visionary support of Shoppers Drug Mart, LHSC’s Continence Clinic at Victoria Hospital is a permanent service offered to women in southwestern Ontario.
Several other donors continue to bolster this program, whether through private donations or through community events such as Stop the Leak. These donations enhance patient care and fund equipment needs, such as the clinic’s biofeedback machine.
Patients who suffer from incontinence but who don’t require surgery benefit from this machine, which can be likened to a video game that helps strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that spread across the bottom of the pelvic cavity like a hammock. When a woman ages, the pelvic floor muscles may begin to sag and weaken as a result of stress placed on them, leading to urinary incontinence.
The Nurse Continence Advisor guides the patient through the use of the biofeedback machine, which displays a visual showing the patient if they are using their pelvic muscles correctly during kegel exercises.
The machine incorporates the use of sensors to measure muscle activity and the computer provides an immediate audio-visual response. A fish or a dolphin is shown “swimming” across the screen and patients are encouraged to squeeze their muscles at various intervals to help the fish along its course. It’s a system that has been proven to be effective for many women.
“I found out at the Continence Clinic that I was not doing kegels correctly,” said a patient of the clinic. “That was my biggest ‘ah ha’ moment. The way the nurse tells me how to do it, and then doing it that way while watching the screen, it really works. Now, the accidents are far fewer and I’m able to take what I learned at the clinic and take control of my situation.”