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Frequently Asked Questions

What You Need to Know About Urinary Incontinence and NeoControl®

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control or involuntary urinary leakage. There are three major types of incontinence: stress, urge and overflow. With stress incontinence - the most common type - a person leaks urine when he/she coughs, sneezes, laughs or exercises. Those with urge incontinence feel an urgent need to urinate and often leak on the way to the bathroom. Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder overflows and leaks without warning. Mixed incontinence is typically when stress and urge incontinence occur together.

What causes urinary incontinence?

There are several different causes.
  • Stress incontinence is usually the result of weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. This sometimes occurs after childbirth or pelvic surgery, during menopause, or after a prostatectomy.
  • Urge incontinence usually stems from an overactive bladder, which causes the bladder to contract involuntarily. It can also occur as the result of a bladder infection. A neurological condition, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis, may also result in urge incontinence.
  • Overflow incontinence is frequently caused by diabetes, a slipped disk or spinal cord injury. Sometimes, urinary incontinence is a temporary condition caused by certain medications or depression. Aging is also a common factor.

Who is affected?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 15 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. Of this group, approximately 85 percent are women. However, these numbers are understated, because many people suffer in silence, too embarrassed to discuss the problem with their doctors.

What types of treatment are used to control incontinence?

A number of treatments are available to control and cure urinary incontinence. They include catheters, urethral inserts, bulking agents, pessaries, Kegel exercises, absorbent pads, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, medicines and surgery. Some of these therapies are uncomfortable or have side effects. The large sales of absorbent products indicate that many have turned to pads either because treatments have been ineffective or because they are reluctant to seek invasive or potentially painful treatments.

What is the NeoControl Pelvic Floor Therapy System?

The NeoControl Pelvic Floor Therapy System is a non-invasive treatment for stress, urge and mixed urinary incontinence that incorporates a patented new technology called Extracorporeal Magnetic Innervation (ExMI). NeoControl was cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June of 1998.
NeoControl treatment requires a doctor's prescription and is administered through a chair that contains the magnetic technology embedded in the seat. While a patient sits fully clothed in the chair, pulsing magnetic fields induce contractions in the pelvic floor muscles. This exercising of the muscles builds strength and endurance, helping the patient regain bladder control. A treatment session takes less than 30 minutes and is typically done twice a week for eight weeks in a doctor's office.

What does a NeoControl treatment feel like?

While sitting in the magnetic chair, patients feel a small vibration or tapping. They will feel their pelvic floor muscles contracting. In some cases, the muscles may feel fatigued afterward, as is normal after exercising, but only for a short time. Patients remain fully dressed. Unlike many traditional incontinence treatments, no probes or invasive instruments are used and nothing touches the skin.

Does NeoControl work for all types of incontinence?

NeoControl is intended for treating stress, urge or mixed incontinence. It is not designed to treat overflow incontinence. Patients should consult their doctors to see if NeoControl is appropriate for them. Although most patients are female, clinical studies have shown dramatic improvement for some men after NeoControl therapy.

Is NeoControl a permanent cure for incontinence?

For some patients, one course of treatment (two sessions per week for eight weeks) will solve the problem. Others may need to repeat the treatments periodically to maintain muscle control. Data from clinical studies at the Cleveland Clinic and sites in Chicago, Philadelphia and Orlando indicate that 50 percent of women who completed six weeks of NeoControl therapy reported being "completely dry" and an additional 30 percent reported "significant improvement" in their condition. Once a patient completes a series of NeoControl treatments, the treating physician will provide advice on how proper diet, voiding habits and exercise can help ensure long-term freedom from the worries of urinary incontinence.

How much do the treatments cost and are they covered by insurance?

Costs are determined by the individual doctors who prescribe the therapy for their patients. Many managed care plans and indemnity insurance companies now cover the cost of treatment, and more are expected to approve it.

How can I learn more about NeoControl?

For more information and to locate a NeoControl site near you, call 1-800-895-4298.

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