Phoenix business woman Tina French is the founder of VJuv. She started her holistic health business, focusing on treating incontinence, because of her own previous health issues. As a busy environmental building inspector, Tina traveled to sites throughout Arizona and across the country. In her 50s, Tina was the picture of a healthy and physically active woman - until she developed incontinence.
At first, she attributed leakage as due to aging. But her condition worsened to the point Tina was having to look for a restroom nearly continually. Finally she couldn’t leave her home. She couldn’t do her job nor run the environmental inspection business with her husband. Their sex life was nonexistent. Tina recalls getting a respiratory illness. She stockpiled her home’s entire towel collection by her bed because every time she coughed, she would urinate uncontrollably.
Knowing she couldn’t continue to live this way, Tina began searching for every treatment option she could find. “I didn’t like anything I found,” she says. “All were invasive, or they wouldn’t solve the problem long-term, or I didn’t want to risk the side-effects.”
Surgical options included colposuspension, which involves a cut in the lower abdomen, the lifting of the bladder neck and getting the neck stitched into place. There was also no guarantee that the neck of the bladder wouldn’t droop again over time. The common side effects included pain during sex, inability to completely empty the bladder and the patient experiencing frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Another concern was the typical six weeks of recovery time from the surgery, though the time could be less for laparoscopic surgery, but it was still surgery.
Other surgical options include: mesh bladder slings, injections into the walls of the urethra to harden the wall (ongoing injections are required to maintain the treatment), Botox injections, (again, challenges fully emptying your bladder), augmentation cytoplasmy - enlarging the bladder (side effects – need to use a catheter to urinate) and a few others. But Tina wanted something better with fewer risks.
She researched medications to treat incontinence. Most of the medications fall into the category of anticholinergics, neurotransmitters, or a chemical messenger. And they, too, came with a whole host of side effects including: drowsiness or sedation, blurred vision, dizziness, urinary retention, confusion or delirium, hallucinations, increased heart rate and dry mouth.
“None of these were what I was looking for. And then I found it - an article about electromagnetic treatments working. I kept digging and found studies showing that the treatment worked and that it was FDA approved. It really seemed too good to be true. So, I called the manufacturer and that’s how it all started.”
Today, Tina is fully recovered and determined to offer others an affordable option for incontinence treatment.