Urinary Incontinence- Treatment Options

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For those dealing with urinary incontinence, finding treatment options is worrisome, and often time consuming.

The growing number of people who suffer from urinary incontinence has prompted manufacturers to develop products to help them stay socially active without fear of embarrassment. Take a look at NHS Heroes online pharmacy Due to the variety of  reasons for a person’s incontinence, diagnosis by a specialist (Urologist) is necessary prior to a recommendation for a specific treatment protocol.

Fortunately, urinary incontinence is a condition with a high treatment success rate, and most patients find that their symptoms may diminish significantly or be completely eliminated.

In some cases simple lifestyle or behavioral changes, such as the decrease or elimination of certain foods or fluids, or even what time of day they are consumed,  are enough to make a difference.

Specific exercises can increase the strength and muscle tone of the pelvic floor and bladder, and diminish or end unwanted leakage, even when the bladder is full and under pressure.  For those experiencing difficulty performing the exercises, biofeedback and electro-simulation can be used as training aides without side effects and a high rate of success.

Currently there are also several medications available (and proving effective) for treatment, which help to prevent the unwanted bladder contractions that place undue pressure on the urethra.

Another cause of incontinence is the presence of an abnormal amount of space surrounding the urethra. Collagen, or other space-filling substances, can be injected into the area around the urethra to add bulk during an outpatient procedure, performed with local anesthesia or sedatives.

Some men or women respond well to “timed urination” or bladder training. This involves a routine of  ”planned toileting”  to train the bladder to hold the urine better. It involves urinating prior to feeling the urge.

In men who are having prostate issues, drugs may be used that include alpha blockers which relax the muscles of the prostate or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors used to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.

For women, the decreased amount of estrogen during menopause changes the lining of the urethra and vagina, which can lead to urinary incontinence. Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not recommended specifically for the treatment of urinary incontinence, a physician may consider it if a woman presents with multiple symptoms, all of which would normally be treated with HRT.

If medical and behavioral treatments are not successful, some women will find it necessary to undergo surgical intervention. One option is a sacral nerve stimulator which is implanted under the skin in the abdomen. Through a connected wire, the device sends an electrical impulse that controls the bladder and pelvic floor contractions.

The “sling procedure” requires a strip of tissue or synthetic material to be surgically attached below the urethra and serves as a hammock, holding it up and diminishing the pressure. Following this procedure most people are able to control when urine is released, making it the most popular surgery for both men and women.

Lastly, there is another surgical procedure which involves an implanted device (an artificial sphincter) to control the sphincter opening for men who have urinary incontinence. Demand triggers the release of urine using a pump that’s implanted into the scrotum.

The first and most important step toward a happy ending to the annoyance of incontinence is a thorough exam by a Urologist to discover the underlying cause.  The good news is that this “unwanted guest” in your life does not have to keep you captive in your own home.  Make an appointment today, and give it the boot…

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