Bladder control is a common yet complex problem that can seriously affect a person's life.
Incontinence and Bladder Control
Bladder control is a common yet complex problem that can seriously affect a person’s life. Fortunately, with today’s high-tech procedures and powerful drugs, a diagnosis may simply mean the road to bladder control is challenging, rather than impossible. Incontinence in women is often categorized as overflow incontinence, stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or mixed incontinence. Treatment is dependent on the type of incontinence.
A new therapy is called Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation. It is a weekly procedure where a tiny acupuncture type needle is placed near the ankle in proximity to the tibial nerve, which then sends messages to the spinal cord to modulate the bladder tone over various sessions.
A more advanced but invasive approach is Sacral Nerve Stimulation. A small lead is placed in the small of the back and attached to a modulating device which is implanted under the skin. This is usually a two step procedure, with the second step performed under anesthesia. It is a relatively simple procedure and is usually reserved for those people who fail more conservative means.
Medical therapy for Urinary Urge Incontinence (UUI) and Overactive Bladder (OAB) is common and consists of a class of drugs called anticholinergic or drugs with bladder relaxant abilities. These drugs can be very effective in certain people, but can also have side effects such as dry mouth, dry eyes, constipation and blurred vision. Some of the newer approved drugs act more specifically on the bladder and have fewer side effects.