Urinary incontinence affects millions of American women. The involuntary loss of urine is one of life’s most embarrassing events. The best solution is not diapers or panty liners. Help is available and you can donate the diapers to the grandchildren.
Urinary incontinence isn’t an inevitable result of aging. Most women who have it can be helped or cured.
The best treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence and your personal preferences. Treatments include:
Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB
Overactive Bladder (OAB)
Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, affects an estimated 25 million Americans, mostly women. For most, incontinence is the result of problems controlling the bladder. For people with a type called functional incontinence, however, the problem lies in getting to and using the toilet when the need arises.
Behavioral training, such as bladder training and timed urination.
Bladder training (also called bladder retraining). This is used to treat urge incontinence. With bladder training, you slowly increase how long you can wait before having to urinate by trying to delay urination after you get the urge to go.
Timed urination. It can be used to treat both urge and stress incontinence. With timed urination, your doctor has you urinate on a schedule, even if you don’t have to go.
Prompted urination. It requires a caregiver to prompt the person to urinate. This technique is used mostly for people with a disability that gets in the way of using the bathroom on their own (functional incontinence).
Lifestyle changes and pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises.
Medicines. There are medications used to relax the bladder muscle. These are referred to as smooth muscle relaxants. Examples include Ditropan, Toviaz, Enablex, Detrol, and Vesicare
Medical devices. An example is a pessary which is helpful for pelvic organ prolapse
Surgery. For more information. This is intended for women with stress incontinence or loss of urine with coughing and sneezing.
Behavioral training, exercises and lifestyle changes, and medicines are usually tried first. If the problem does not get better, your doctor may try another treatment or do more tests.
When there is more than one cause for incontinence, the most significant cause is treated first, followed by treatment for the secondary cause, if needed.
Bottom Line: Incontinence is one of life’s greatest embarrassments. Treatment is available. You don’t have to depend on Depends!
Dr. Neil Baum is one of the authors of What’s Going On Down There-Improve Your Pelvic Health, which is available from Amazon.com