(Ivanhoe Newswire) - A medical problem affecting anywhere from two to 20 million women may go unreported to physicians because sufferers are too embarrassed to come forward and talk about it.
Fecal incontinence is a medical condition where people lose control of their bowels. A new, non-surgical treatment for women may be the answer to getting their lives back.
For Rhonda Green, vacuuming and making the bed are small tasks representing a big victory.
"Any kind of activity that would cause me to strain in any way, I would have bowel leakage," Green said.
A surgery 10 years ago left Green unable to control her bowels. It was a problem that dominated every aspect of her life.
"I knew when I left the house, I had approximately 20 minutes," Green said. "I began to learn that I pack an extra set of clothes."
"It's pretty rare when we cure this condition," Urogynecologist Dr. Holly Richter said.
Richter placed Green in a study for a non-surgical treatment called the Eclipse system.
"The Eclipse System is a device that's placed into the vagina and the device has a backward directed balloon that reversibly closes off the rectal space," Richter said. "It kind of fills that gap between behavioral therapy and going to more invasive therapies."
For Green, the relief was immediate.
"I've been given part of my life back," Green said. "It's nice to go out to dinner with a friend, and be able to sit through the whole dinner. I don't have to jump out of the shower to go to the bathroom."
She doesn't have to put her life on hold, anymore, either.
Pelvalon is the company that makes the Eclipse System. They say of the 61 women who completed their study, 96 percent of them thought the device was comfortable, and 86 percent saw dramatic improvement.