Urinary incontinence, or bladder leakage, is frustrating and embarrassing and can cause sufferers to become socially isolated. The good news is the problem may only be temporary. Many treatments are available too, ranging from lifestyle changes and medications to physical therapy, medical devices, in-office procedures and surgery.
More and more, patients are becoming active participants in their own health via diet, exercise and preventive care.
Additional treatments for incontinence include:
- Lifestyle changes can help reduce problems including quitting smoking; avoiding alcohol, caffeine and certain foods; adding more fiber; and controlling your weight.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Physical therapy.
- BOTOX® is Food and Drug Administration approved for urinary incontinence. Injected into the bladder muscle it reduces muscle spasms that produce urgency. It's very effective for about nine months with few side effects.
- Bulking is an in-office procedure in which material is injected to "bulk up" the tissues surrounding the urethra to help it close more effectively to prevent leakage
- Neuromodulation or bladder and bowel pacemakers use mild impulses to stimulate nerves that control bladder and/or bowel function. After 12 weekly treatments, results are effective for about a year.
- Acupuncture can be used to help improve bowel and bladder control.
- If surgery needed, there are several options available depending on age, general health, lifestyle and personal preference.