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.

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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