Bacteria

Weethinking the Role of Bacteria in Urinary Incontinence

We all know that feeling of suddenly needing to pee, and the agonizing worry that we might not find a toilet in time or make it that far. Sadly, for many people this is a regular occurrence and wetting themselves uncontrollably is an inevitable consequence.  Almost 1 in 5 women over the age of 44 suffer from what is known as Urgency Urinary Incontinence (UUI): experiencing a strong sensation of an urgent need to pee, followed by immediate leakage of a large volume of urine. It can severely adversely affect someone’s life, contributing to anxiety, depression and social isolation. Read more.

Source: EurekAlerts, October 7, 2016

Overactive Bladder (OAB) and Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI)

hurrying with overactive bladder

You may find yourself hurrying a lot to find a bathroom if you have an overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition in which the bladder can spasm and cause a sudden, intense and frequent urge to urinate. In some cases, these urges can lead to episodes of involuntary urine leakage, which is called urge urinary incontinence (UUI) or “UUI-wet.” Overactive bladder contractions that send you running to the bathroom quite frequently, without any leakage is referred to as “UUI-dry.”Continue reading

Mixed Incontinence

doctor and patient

Make sure you discuss your diagnosis with your doctor to rule out mixed incontinence.

In some cases, urinary incontinence can be a combination of both stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and urge incontinence. It is important to realize that if you have mixed incontinence, but only treat one of the two types, you will still have incontinence. In other words, both types of incontinence must be treated to see desirable results.Continue reading

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS)

percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation female patient

A female patient is using Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) to help control her urinary incontinence. An electrode is placed only at the ankle area.

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimuation (PTNS) is a low-risk, non-surgical treatment. PTNS works by indirectly providing electrical stimulation to the nerves responsible for bladder and pelvic floor function. During PTNS treatment, the patient’s foot is comfortably elevated and supported. Also during treatment, a slim needle electrode is placed near the nerve at the ankle known as the tibial nerve. A device known as the Urgent PC Stimulator is connected to the electrode and sends mild electrical pulses to the tibial nerve. These impulses travel to the sacral nerve plexus, the group of nerves at the base of the spine responsible for bladder function. Continue reading

Prescription Drugs for Overactive Bladder (OAB)

drugs for overactive bladder (OAB)

There are several prescription drugs for overactive bladder (OAB).

The FDA approved medications, or drugs, currently available on the U.S. market for the treatment of urinary incontinence are for a specific condition called overactive bladder (OAB). Some are also used for OAB with urge urinary incontinence (UUI). You may have seen advertisements on television or in magazines for these medications. Most of the prescription drugs for OAB partially calm the bladder muscles that cause abnormal contractions, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of the overwhelming urge to urinate. Some of these drugs may also increase the bladder’s capacity to hold urine and delay the initial urge to void. This class of drugs is referred to as antimuscarinics.

Continue reading

Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®) Injections

doctor writing prescription for BOTOX

You and your doctor need to decide together if trying BOTOX is right for you.

Botulinum toxin (commonly called BOTOX®) is often used in cosmetic procedures.  BOTOX is also a relatively new treatment for severe urge incontinence that has not responded to medical therapy.  It is also for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency.  It is only for use in adults who have had an inadequate response to, or are intolerant of, anticholinergic medication. In this treatment, BOTOX is injected directly into the bladder muscle, relaxing it and allowing the bladder to fill with more urine before the urge to urinate strikes.Continue reading

Avoiding Bladder Irritants

citrus fruits may be bladder irritants

Citrus fruits may be bladder irritants for some people – but not everyone.

There are a number of foods and drinks that most people eat or drink every day that can irritate the lining of your bladder.  We call these bladder irritants.  These foods and drinks may cause people with sensitive bladders to have to go to the bathroom more often and need to get to the bathroom sooner.  Sometimes this may cause incontinence.

An easy way to check if any food or drink is causing bladder problems is to do a special diet, called an “elimination diet”. Stop eating and drinking all the foods and drinks listed in our “10 Bladder Irritants You Can Avoid” below for two weeks. Also take out any other foods or drinks that you think may be causing a problem.Continue reading

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture being performed by a Licensed Acupuncturist

Interest in acupuncture and acupressure are growing as people with incontinence (bowel or urinary) seek treatment options in complementary and alternative forms of medicine. Most people with incontinence would prefer not to have surgery or take drugs, if at all possible.

Acupuncture and acupressure for incontinence are based on ancient Chinese Medicine, which designates incontinence to be a deficiency of energy. In Chinese Medicine urinary incontinence is due to a deficiency of kidney or, occasionally, urinary bladder energy, so acupressure and acupuncture treatments work on nourishing and supporting these energetic pathways. The bladder and anal sphincters also need a lot of energy to perform correctly. Likewise with bowel incontinence, acupuncture attempts to restore strength to the anal sphincter.Continue reading