Urinary incontinence is a condition that is much more common than most people realize. Of course, your average person isn’t going to bring up a condition like this over the dinner table or small talk at a coffee shop, but know that if you are experiencing urinary incontinence you are certainly not alone.
This is especially true for women, it has been found that up to 17% of women struggle with urinary incontinence, while up to 11% of men have the same struggles.
What Does Urinary Incontinence Feel Like?
When we say urinary incontinence, you may be wondering exactly what that means. Under normal conditions, the brain signals to the bladder that it is time to empty. The urethral sphincter, which is a circular muscle, relaxes and the bladder contacts to empty.
If your urethral sphincter is inadequate and unable to properly contract and release, this could result in stress incontinence. If you feel like you are trying your hardest to hold in your urine but you just cant on a regular basis, this could be stress incontinence.
If your bladder muscle is overactive and contracts involuntarily, this could result in urge incontinence. If you feel like your bladder leaks unexpectedly and you have no control over it, this could be urge incontinence.
Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence
When diagnosed through a urologist with either type of urinary incontinence there are several treatment options. Urinary incontinence can be treated with surgery, which is preferred by many patients, as it is effective in treating the underlying problem leading to incontinence.
Many patients, however, choose to pursue non surgical options based on a number of personal preferences or the severity of their incontinence.
At Urology Specialists of Ohio, we want to provide you with the best and most effective urinary incontinence treatment around Springfield Ohio. We know every patient is unique and will work with you on choosing the best option.
Non Surgical Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence
Some causes of urinary incontinence are temporary or reversible, such as UTI, vaginal infection, medication, and more. Non surgical or minimally invasive treatments are your first line of defense in these cases. Non surgical options for urinary incontinence include the following.
A patient may be instructed to increase or decrease their fluid intake as well as modify their diet in order to produce an adequate amount of non irritating and concentrated urine.
Kegel exercises can be done without anyone around you noticing at any time and any place. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
In addition to kegels there are a number of pelvic floor exercises you can do at home and well as treatment done in our offices that will either help relax or stimulate your pelvic floor depending on your condition.
PTNS (percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation)
PTNS is a minimally invasive way to improve urge incontinence. A device is attached to a needle which is temporarily placed near the ankle. The device delivers mild electrical impulses which travel up the nerves in the leg to the nerves that control the bladder. Many patients see a reduction in the frequency and urgency of their bathroom visits and in the number of accidents they have.
BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) is a treatment option for those with urinary incontinence due to neurological conditions. It works by weakening certain muscles or blocking nerves to treat an overactive bladder. The effects can last 3-12 months.
Interstim is an option for those with Urge incontinence. This Therapy is a proven neuromodulation therapy that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. This is done through a small device that is inserted externally and internally for long term options.
Anticholinergics are medications commonly used to allow for relaxation of the bladder muscle. They can be effective in treating urge incontinence but like most drugs, can have side effects including dry mouth, confusion, constipation, blurred vision and an inability to urinate.
Starting With Noninvasive Treatment
Surgery isn’t always the best option or only option when treating or managing Urinary Incontinence. If you are hesitant to pursue surgical treatment when struggling with this condition, there are a number of other ways our physicians can help you treat urinary incontinence and ultimately improve your quality of life with fewer trips to the bathroom and less accidents!