For nearly three years, Rose Agriel, 42, of Chicago, was deprived of a full night’s sleep, waking up 4-6 times a night to use the bathroom. She woke up wet after most nights and regularly experienced urinary leakage throughout the daytime from coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercising. “I thought I had a kidney or bladder problem,” Rose explained.
In February 2021, she sought help at her Palatine OB/GYNs office, WomanCare, who confirmed that she did not have a urinary tract infection. After a series of tests in the office, she was referred to Randall Kahan, M.D.,* who specializes in pelvic reconstruction and incontinence surgery.
Rose was experiencing a prolapsed bladder. She essentially lost most urine control, which included the signal from her brain to her bladder to indicate she needed to relieve herself. The surgery, performed vaginally as an outpatient procedure at NCH, was life changing for Rose. She had a drain in her bladder for a few days during the initial healing process and soon after was able to retrain her bladder to work properly – drinking lots of water and scheduling bathroom trips every three hours – to “retrain” her body to retain and release urine.
After just a few days of recovery (she took only two days off her desk job) she felt success and was able to return to normal life, with the exception of lifting heavy items and strenuous activity for a six-week time period. She was able to sleep through the night for the first time in years. Her brain and bladder were communicating properly again.
Bladder voiding is a common problem for adult women of all ages. Dr. Kahan says, “One in four women experience life-altering incontinence at some point in their lifetime.”
There are many contributing factors to these problems such as childbirth, genetics, obesity and diabetes. Rose has one child, a daughter who is now 21, and she believes how she carried the baby throughout pregnancy could have exacerbated her condition.
Rose knows many women have put up with an uncomfortable and embarrassing leakage problem because they simply didn’t know this treatment is available. “I highly recommend this procedure for those who are aching for normalcy.”
“I was especially pleased with Dr. Kahan. He was very patient and compassionate and did a fabulous job explaining the condition and the procedure to me,” she says, adding that his sense of humor made the whole process more comfortable.
Rose is so pleased with her experience that she has offered an open invitation for other women going through this issue to reach out to her through Facebook or LinkedIn. While she isn’t a medical professional, she wants to help others gain back what she has.
The NCH Pelvic Floor and Bladder Program is located in the new NCH Women’s Center, in the Busse Center on the hospital campus at 880 W. Central Road, where you’ll find a relaxing and inviting atmosphere and expert care pelvic and bladder health needs.
NCH’s team of specialists provides comprehensive clinical care and minimally invasive surgical treatments for pelvic floor disorders, incontinence, childbirth injury, complications from gynecologic surgery and congenital genitourinary disorders.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your primary care provider about any pelvic health or bladder symptoms you are experiencing or get a consultation with one of our pelvic floor and bladder experts.