Tension-free vaginal tape


Surgery to help when the muscles that support your bladder, sphincter, vagina or back passage become weak


Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) is a surgical treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence. It is usually not considered suitable for women considering having children or for women with other conditions like a cystocele or a vaginal prolapse.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    During the procedure, tape is inserted through a small incision in the vaginal wall. It lies between the vagina and the urethra, supporting the middle of the urethra. Each end of the tape is threaded through two small holes on the abdomen just above the pubic bone. This support reduces the effect of any sudden increase in abdominal pressure such as coughing or sneezing that can cause stress incontinence. You may need to have a catheter (small tube) inserted into your bladder to help you pass urine.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how best to prepare for this procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should experience minimal pain after surgery. Our staff will be on hand to administer pain relief medication should you need it. Since the procedure is often performed as day surgery, you should be able to go home on the same day as treatment, unless you had a catheter inserted. In this instance your catheter will be removed the day after your procedure. A nurse will check that your bladder is emptying urine correctly after this time. You will not be able to have sex for four to six weeks following treatment.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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