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Bonnie Blair to Break the Ice About Stress Urinary Incontinence in Milwaukee

US Speed Skater Hopes to Educate Women About this Common Condition

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- US speed skater Bonnie Blair will be at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee hotel (333 West Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee) on October 25, 2007 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm to talk about her experience with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Bonnie is speaking as part of What's Happening Down There?: Breaking the Ice About SUI, a national public education campaign. Area residents are invited to a free educational event to learn more about SUI from Bonnie's own surgeon Dr. Dennis Miller, a urogynecologist on staff at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and to hear Bonnie's experiences with SUI. To reserve a seat, please call 1-866-421-0473 by October 18th. Dinner will be provided.

What is stress urinary incontinence (SUI)? It's the accidental leaking of urine during day-to-day activities, an exceptionally common condition among women.

Bonnie Blair was a new mother when she developed SUI. She eventually sought treatment and is now symptom free. "When I went on my first run after having my son, I didn't get more than half a block before my shorts were soaked," said Bonnie. "I was very upset. As an athlete, I was used to being active and not having anything slow me down. Now I had to worry about leaking."

Like millions of other women, Bonnie found she could not pursue daily activities such as lifting her child, picking up a laundry basket or playing golf without worrying she might have an accident. For a long time embarrassment kept Bonnie from opening up to her doctor, or even her husband, and her quality of life and confidence both suffered.

Bonnie tried to cope by wearing dark shorts, using feminine pads and limiting her intake of fluids, but these efforts did not improve her situation. Eventually, she talked to her doctor and learned she had SUI.

"Aging, menopause and even childbirth are all risk factors for SUI. SUI occurs when the vaginal wall weakens and cannot provide adequate support to the urethra, thus causing leaking," said Dennis P. Miller, MD, of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - St. Joseph in Milwaukee. "The good news is that women with SUI now have highly effective treatment options available to them."

In fact, in a clinical study, 81% of those affected were cured and 16% were improved. Treatment options for SUI include:

-- Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles and biofeedback

to record progress in strengthening treatments and exercises

-- Electrical stimulation to help return injured muscles to fitness

-- Outpatient surgery to provide support to the urethra during straining

or sudden movement

Often, women will explore several options before finding a treatment that works for them.

"I discussed my options with my doctor and tried various treatments, with little improvement," said Bonnie. "I decided to try a minimally invasive treatment called TVT. Since having the procedure, I've been symptom free."

Bonnie encourages any woman who thinks she may be suffering from SUI to talk to her doctor. There are several different types of incontinence, and a correct diagnosis is critical. For more information about Bonnie Blair's story and treatment options for SUI, please visit

"My family has noticed a real difference in my attitude," said Bonnie. "I now have a huge smile on my face. I can enjoy my daily runs again. I can also jump on the trampoline with my kids without worry."


Minimally invasive GYNECARE TVT* Tension-free Support for Incontinence is used in a simple outpatient procedure. The GYNECARE TVT device uses a mesh sling to provide support to the middle of the urethra, the section that is strained during physical activities. This positioning of the device provides support only when needed and creates a "tension-free" treatment solution that reduces the risk of over-correcting. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dec 2004) shows that 7 years after treatment, 81% of those affected were cured and 16% were improved.

To date, over 1 million women worldwide have been treated with GYNECARE TVT. As with any surgery of this kind, the procedure should not be performed in pregnant patients or patients who plan future pregnancies, since childbirth can negate the results of the surgery. Although rare, complications associated with the device include injury to blood vessels or nerves, difficulty urinating and bladder and bowel injury.

The family of GYNECARE TVT products is marketed by ETHICON Women's Health & Urology, a division of ETHICON, INC.

For more information about stress urinary incontinence and GYNECARE TVT, visit


SOURCE ETHICON Women's Health & Urology
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