Your urologist may recommend lifestyle changes, physical therapy and other non-invasive treatments. If these treatments are not effective, surgery can be an excellent choice to treat urinary incontinence.
Exercises and lifestyle changes based on the results of your bladder diary may reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
MedicationsYour doctor may recommend medication to treat your incontinence. These medications work by:
Calming an active bladder. This may be effective if you have urge incontinence.
Tightening tissues in the urethra and vaginal areas.
Preventing unwanted bladder contractions,
Devices for WomenSeveral medical devices are available to help treat incontinence. They're designed specifically for women and include:
- Urethral inserts. These are small, tampon-like disposable devices or plugs that a woman inserts into her urethra to prevent urine from leaking out. Urethral inserts, available by prescription, aren't for everyday use.
Pessary (PES-uh-re). Your doctor may prescribe a pessary — a stiff ring that you insert into your vagina to hold up your bladder and prevent leakage. You may benefit from a pessary if you have incontinence due to a dropped bladder or uterus.
Radiofrequency therapy. Radiofrequency energy heats tissue in the lower urinary tract leaving it firmer, which may reduce the chance of urinary leaks.
Bulking material injections. Bulking agents are injected into tissue surrounding the urethra to help keep the urethra closed and reduce urine leakage.
Sacral nerve stimulator. A device is implanted under the skin in to stimulate a nerve involved in bladder control.
- Catheter. If you're incontinent because your bladder doesn't empty properly, your doctor may recommend that you learn to insert a soft tube (catheter) into your urethra several times a day to drain your bladder.
If other treatments have not provided results, surgery may be used to
- Remove blockages.
- Improve the bladder neck position.
- Add permanent bulk to tissues.
- Add support to severely weakened pelvic muscles.