Bladder Incontinence Treatment
Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause. Treatment for mild urinary incontinence may include behavioral therapy, bladder training, and Kegel exercises. More persistent symptoms may be treated with medication, surgery, or electrical stimulation of the muscles that control the flow of urine.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence include:
- Behavioral therapy for urinary incontinence:
- Relaxation techniques
- Pads and protective garments
- Bladder training:
- Delaying urination when you have the urge to urinate
- Urinating twice, in order to completely empty the bladder
- Maintaining a schedule for urination
- Kegel exercises:
- Strengthen the pelvic muscles
- Medical devices:
- Urethral inserts
- Vaginal cone for urinary incontinence
- Biofeedback for urinary incontinence:
- Stimulator implant:
- Electrical stimulation of the pelvic muscles for urinary incontinence
- Sacral nerve stimulator
- Medications for urinary incontinence:
- Radiofrequency therapy:
- Radiofrequency energy is used to heat tissues in the lower urinary tract. After the tissue heals, urinary leakage may be lessened.
- Botulinum toxin type A:
- Bladder injections may be helpful in the setting of an overactive bladder
- Bulking agent injections:
- Collagen or carbon-coated zirconium beads are injected into the tissue surrounding the urethra to help keep it closed.
- Surgery for urinary incontinence:
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Sling procedures
- Bladder neck suspension
- Urinary catheter:
- A rubber tube is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder
- Pads and protective underwear
For more information:
Bladder Incontinence Biofeedback
Biofeedback for Urinary Incontinence
Biofeedback involves the placement of a sensor inside the vagina or rectum. The sensor monitors the activity of the muscles that control urination. The person uses the feedback from the computer, in order to learn how to control the muscles effectively.
This is a process that must be repeated many times before a person can learn how to control the muscles. After a person learns how to control the muscles, he or she can perform Kegel exercises correctly.
Bladder Incontinence Kegel Exercises
Kegel Exercises for Urinary Incontinence
Kegel exercises suppress the urge to urinate by contracting the muscles that control urination. This gradually increases the time between voiding. The goal is to have at least 2 hours between voiding during the day, and 6-8 hours between voiding at night.
How to perform Kegel exercises:
- Contract your muscles upward and inward while voiding, so that you can stop the flow of urine.
- Hold this position for a count of 6 seconds.
- Release the urine for a count of 6 seconds.
- Repeat the above one more time before emptying your bladder.
Bladder Incontinence Magnetic Therapy
Pulsed Magnetic Therapy for Urinary Incontinence
Pulsed magnetic therapy involves a special chair that delivers a magnetic current to the pelvic muscles. The chair stimulates the pelvic muscles without the need for an internal device. The therapy is provided as one 20-minute sessions per week, for eight weeks.
Bladder Incontinence Medication
Medications that are used to treat urinary incontinence include:
- Medications that relax the bladder muscles:
- Flavoxate (Urispas)
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Ditropan XL, Oxytrol)
- Tolterodine (Detrol, Detrol LA)
- Fesoterodine (Toviaz)
- Trospium (Sanctura)
- Darifenacin (Enablex)
- Solifenacin (Vesicare)
- Topical hormones:
- Antidepressant medications that relax the bladder:
Bladder Incontinence Muscle Stimulation
Functional Electrical Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
During functional electrical stimulation, the pelvic muscles are stimulated by a device that is inserted temporarily into the vagina or rectum. The stimulation strengthens the pelvic muscles. The equipment may be used in the physician office or at home. Once the muscles are strong enough so that Kegel exercises can be performed properly, the therapy is stopped.
Bladder Incontinence Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of urinary incontinence.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for urinary incontinence?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Bladder Incontinence Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat urinary incontinence:
Bladder Incontinence Stimulator Implant
Urinary Incontinence Stimulator Implant for Urinary Incontinence
A stimulator implant is a stopwatch-sized device designed to be surgically implanted under the skin of the abdomen. It sends electrical pulses to the sacral nerves in the lower back, which stimulate the muscles that control bladder function.
Bladder Incontinence Surgery
Surgery for urinary incontinence focuses on repairing weak tissues in the pelvic area.
Surgery for urinary incontinence may include:
- Bladder neck suspension:
- The front of the bladder is surgically attached to a ligament or cartilage in the pelvic bone.
- This supports the bladder and urethra, so that they do not fall against the muscles in the pelvic floor.
- Sling procedure:
- A strip of muscle is removed from the abdomen.
- The muscle is transplanted beneath the urethra, which compressed the urethra, preventing urine from leaking
- Artificial urinary sphincter:
- A fluid-filled ring is implanted around the neck of the bladder, which connects to the urethra.
- The filled ring keeps the urethra tightly closed until you need to urinate.
- To urinate, you press a valve under your skin, which deflates the ring, allowing urine to pass.
- Bulking material injections:
- A thick solution is injected around the urinary sphincter, tightening the seal around the sphincter and preventing urine from leaking.
Bladder Incontinence Vaginal Cone
Vaginal Cone Therapy For Urinary Incontinence
During vaginal cone therapy, a tampon-like device is inserted into the vagina, in order to improve the effectiveness of Kegel exercises.
Continue to Bladder Incontinence Home Care
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- Zinner N, Harnett M, Sabounjian L, Sandage B Jr, Dmochowski R, Staskin D. The overactive bladder-symptom composite score: a composite symptom score of toilet voids, urgency severity and urge urinary incontinence in patients with overactive bladder. J Urol. 2005 May;173(5):1639-43.