Available Treatments For Female Urinary Incontinence, Light Bladder Leakage, And Overactive Bladder
There are several treatments to incorporate into your daily lifestyle in order to treat an overactive bladder.
These can involve cutting down on foods and beverages that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and highly acidic foods. Changes may also include scheduling trips to the bathroom on a more regimented schedule. Going to the bathroom every hour or two, even if you don’t feel the need, can help avoid the sudden urges that lead to accidents. Losing weight may help with bladder problems by reducing the weight placed on the bladder and pelvic muscles.
Kegel exercises for women and bladder training exercises that help train and strengthen the muscles involved in urination may be of help to some people.
There are a variety of medications used for bladder incontinence treatment. If the cause of the incontinence is overactive bladder due to irregular nerve function, an anticholinergic drug will most likely be prescribed. This class of drugs treats urge incontinence but comes with a range of side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Acid or sour stomach.
- Decreased sweating.
- Difficulty having a bowel movement.
- Dryness of the eyes, mouth, nose, or throat.
- Runny nose.
- Stomach discomfort, upset, or pain.
Pads and Disposable Underwear
For many people with bladder dysfunction, pads and disposable underwear are the tools they choose to manage their conditions. Although these products certainly will help with avoiding some of the most uncomfortable and embarrassing aspects of bladder leakage, they can still have a smell that may be noticed by others, and they carry with them the stigma of being a form of adult diapers.
In certain cases, a doctor may recommend surgery for urinary incontinence. According to the Mayo Clinic, surgical options include:
- Sling procedures: Strips of your body’s tissue, synthetic material, or mesh are used to create a pelvic sling around your urethra and the area of thickened muscle where the bladder connects to the urethra (bladder neck). The sling helps keep the urethra closed, especially when you cough or sneeze. This procedure is used to treat stress incontinence.
- Bladder neck suspension: This procedure is designed to provide support to your urethra and bladder neck. It involves an abdominal incision, so it’s done during general or spinal anesthesia.
- Prolapse surgery: In women with mixed incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, surgery may include a combination of a sling procedure and prolapse surgery.
- 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. You’ll be instructed on how to clean these catheters for safe reuse.
What if you don’t want to drastically change your lifestyle, increase medication, or even undergo surgery to improve your bladder health? Try an alternative treatment for female urinary incontinence from Healthy Bladder Plus™.