Incontinence treatment options
Once a diagnosis is made, your physician at NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center will work carefully with you to determine the best treatment option based on your age, extent of symptoms, and lifestyle.
Stress incontinence treatment
- Pelvic floor therapy (also known as Kegel exercises)
pelvic floor exercises can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of both urinary and fecal incontinence. Your physician will walk you through how to perform these exercises, which work the muscles involved in urination to help you regain control over your bladder.
Advancements in medical technology and surgical techniques have empowered physicians and patients with highly effective, minimally invasive surgical treatments for incontinence. While it is usually recommended to try non-surgical treatment for incontinence first, surgical treatment for incontinence is arguably the most effective treatment option for women of all ages. Surgical options for treating incontinence offered at NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center include retropubic suspension, urethral sling, electrical stimulation, and tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) surgery.
- Vaginal pessaries
A plastic device called a “pessary” can be fitted for an individual with incontinence in order to add extra support to prolapsed pelvic organs. Pessaries should be hardly noticeable when fitted properly, and women with pessaries should have no problem urinating or passing bowel movements normally. This treatment option is chosen most often as an alternative to surgery or as a delay to surgery.
Urge incontinence treatment
- Bladder retraining
Training and retraining the bladder to hold more urine is often the first treatment recommended to patients living with urge incontinence. The process of training the bladder may include keeping a fluid intake/voiding record, scheduling regular times to use the bathroom, and increasing the intervals between bathroom uses over time.
- Dietary modifications
Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, large amounts sugar, artificial sweeteners, and acidic fruits are examples of bladder irritants that may increase one’s need to urinate. The effects of bladder irritants vary from person to person. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which dietary changes will work best for you. Increasing the intake dietary fiber can also provide substantial benefit to one’s urinary function.
In some cases, your physician may prescribe medications to treat urge incontinence. Medications alone can help, but patients achieve the best results when combining their medicinal treatment with dietary modifications and other treatments.