Medical Interventions

If after making lifestyle changes your incontinence is still affecting your quality of life, your doctor may suggest medical intervention.  These can take many forms, ranging from medications or at home devices to surgery.


Four Common Medications

There are 4 common kinds of medications that can be prescribed for urinary incontinence.

Anticholinergics 

These can calm an overactive bladder and are mostly used for urge incontinence.

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Mirabegron (Myrbetriq)  

These also can relax an over active bladder, and can also increase the capacity of your bladder or help you to empty your bladder more completely.

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Alpha Blockers  

These relax bladder muscles and muscle fibers in the prostates of men.

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Topical Estrogen

In women, estrogen helps to tone and rejuvenate the tissue in the urethra and vagina.

At Home Devices

Your doctor might also recommend one of the following devices to be used at home or on the go.

Pessary  

A stiff ring that is inserted in the vagina to support the bladder. A pessary is commonly used for incontinence due to a prolapse.

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Urethral Insert  

A very small plug like device that is inserted into the urethra before participating in a specific activity. You can insert the device yourself and it is removed before urination.

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Catheter  

A small, soft tube that is inserted into the urethra several times per day to drain your bladder.

Interventional Therapies

These therapies are a little bit more intrusive than medications or at home devices and require medical personnel to perform them.

Bulking Material Injections  

Synthetic material can be injected into the tissue surrounding the urethra to help keep the urethra closed.

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Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox)  

Injections of botox into the bladder muscle can help relax an overactive bladder.

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Nerve Stimulators 

A device similar to a pace maker delivers electrical pulses to the sacral nerves (involved in bladder control). This device is implanted under the skin of either your buttock or your ankle.

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Electrical Stimulation

A doctor can insert electrodes into your rectum or vagina to help stimulate and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. This treatment option may require multiple treatments over a longer period of time to be effective.

Surgeries

In extreme cases, your doctor may recommend a type of surgery.

Artificial Urinary Sphincter

A device for men, an artificial urinary sphincter is a small fluid filled ring implanted around the bladder neck to keep the urinary sphincter shut. In order to urinate, you press a valve that is implanted under your skin to deflate the ring and allow urine to pass.

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Sling Procedures  

A pelvic sling is inserted to support your urethra and the muscles around it. This sling can be made from your body’s tissues, synthetic material, mesh or a combination of the three.

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Prolapse Surgery  

This surgery is designed to mend a prolapsed organ.

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Bladder Neck Suspension  

A procedure designed to provide more support to the urethra and bladder neck, this surgery involves using sutures to attach your vaginal tissue to your pelvic bone.