Tampa doctor fixing embarrassing problem 15 million women don't want to discuss

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -  It's the conversation some say is too embarrassing to have.

Yet it's too important to ignore.

It's a common problem that 15 million women deal with every day, many of them moms.

Urinary stress incontinence is a serious subject, but certainly not a sexy one.

In fact, many women admit they don't want to talk about it, even with their closest friends.

8 On Your Side found out there's hope for those feeling hopeless, and it's happening right here in the Tampa Bay area.

One mom tells us a pioneering procedure, utilizing a laser, has changed her life.

"It's an unfair world when it comes to women," she told us.  "Our body changes and it never goes back."

The mother of three has suffered in silence for decades, she says, secretly battling a painful problem, a weakened bladder.

The nightmare began decades ago when she gave birth to her first child, a 10 pound baby boy.

"You think that you're too young to wear bladder control pads, or you see the commercials," she explained. "In your mind, in my mind, 'I'm too young for this. This should not happen.'"

As a new mom, at first, she thought the problem would pass, but it was persistent as ever.

Then it got even worse.

She is also a high-ranking local firefighter and paramedic, often on the job for hours at a time with no bathroom in sight.

Her bladder battle became unbearable with her active lifestyle.

"It has not happened to the point 100 percent that I went in my pants but it's come close sometimes," she told News Channel 8.

Dr. Daniel Diaco is a board-certified Tampa Bay area plastic surgeon who became intrigued when just over a year ago, he heard about a laser that treated urinary stress incontinence. He was interested immediately and knew he wanted to research it further.

"I think that urinary stress incontinence in young women is a silent problem. Nobody wants to talk about it and it's under reported," he said.

He did the research, asked a lot of questions and eventually began utilizing a revolutionary laser called "The Diva."

It tightens the muscles surrounding the bladder, preventing leakage.

And, the results?

"I get a lot of, 'Oh my God's,'" said Dr. Diaco with a smile.  "I get a lot of, 'I can't believe it. It's amazing. Thank you.' This is clearly a problem women are afraid to talk about."

Procedures take five minutes, with no downtime.

As it turns out, it is something this first responder responded to well. She went right back to work and saw results immediately.

Studies show the effects last roughly ten years.

"This is definitely a game changer, because so many women have this problem and suffer in silence," said Dr. Diaco.

As for the longtime firefighter?  She says the procedure changed her life. The only battle she's fighting these days?

Those on a bucket truck.

"I would highly recommend it to anybody who's thinking about it," she said. "I feel great, and this changed everything!"

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