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.
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
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
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