Effective Treatments for Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine that affects nearly 30 million Americans. While it can be a major cause of embarrassment, only 1 out of 12 people seek treatment to manage their bladder leakage.Urinary incontinence is up to five times more common in women than men.
Stress incontinence occurs when urine is leaked during physical exertion, such as laughing, coughing, or jumping. One out of three women will experience some level of stress incontinence during her lifetime. Giving birth and aging are two common causes of stress incontinence.
In men, urinary incontinence can result from pelvic trauma, surgery, prostate cancer treatment, or health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or multiple sclerosis.
Another type of incontinence is called urge incontinence. This is the sudden, uncontrollable loss of urine. Some people can suffer from mixed incontinence, which is the combination of stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence, which is leakage that results from incomplete bladder voiding.
Foothills Urology provides expertise and compassion when treating your urinary incontinence. We offer a range of treatments tailored to your specific condition, health history, and lifestyle. Studies show that up to 80 percent of people with urinary incontinence can be effectively treated, so there’s no need to go a day longer with the embarrassment of bladder leakage.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
Whenever possible, conservative urinary incontinence treatments are preferred over surgery. Based on the type of urinary incontinence you have and the severity of your symptoms, Foothills Urology will recommend a treatment tailored to your condition.
Urinary incontinence treatments include:
- Medications – Mild urinary urge incontinence may be first treated with anticholinergic medications that control the urge to urinate.
- Behavioral therapy – Diet and lifestyle, including losing weight, avoiding caffeine, refraining from drinking before bedtime, bladder training, and scheduled voiding may be recommended.
- Physical therapy – Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles including Kegels and pelvic floor training can lead to greater bladder control for some patients with urinary incontinence.
- In-office percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) – Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation uses a small, thin electrode to stimulate the nerves in the pelvis and can lead to improved bladder control.
- Botulinum toxin – Injecting Botox directly into the bladder can relax the bladder, resulting in fewer contractions and reduced incidents of bladder leakage. This in-office procedure may be recommended for people whose urinary incontinence cannot be effectively controlled with medications.
- Mid-urethral sling procedures – Mid-urethral sling systems may be effective for women with moderate to severe stress incontinence. Often performed as an outpatient procedure, the minimally invasive procedure uses a sling that is placed under the bladder neck or urethra to keep the urethra closed during physical exertion.
- Male Sling System – Designed to support and reposition the urethra, male slings are made of synthetic mesh. Placement of the sling is performmed via a minimally invasive procedure. Slings have been shown to provide cure rates for up to 90 percent of men with mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence.1
- Artificial Sphincter – An artificial urinary sphincter can effectively treat stress incontinence in men who have internal sphincter deficiency as a result of prostate surgery.
- Sacral Nerve Stimulation – Found to be highly effective in treating urge incontinence, sacral nerve stimulation uses a pacemaker-like device to help improve communication between the brain and bladder.
1 DeRidder, D., Webster, G. Clinical Overview of the AdVance Male Sling in Postprostatectomy Incontinence. European Urology Supplements. 2011;10:401-406.