It can be frustrating to live with untreated bladder control issues. You may have this problem if you experience issues with urge incontinence, urgency and frequency, and/or urinary retention.
Examples of urge incontinence include not reaching the bathroom on time, having to use protective pads or undergarments, and experiencing problems with leaks. Symptoms of urgency and frequency include the uncontrollable urge to urinate often, urinating more than eight times per day, and feeling like you never fully empty your bladder. Finally, you may have a problem with urinary retention if you have difficulty telling when your bladder is full, your urine stream is weak or dribbling, you hold increasingly large amounts of urine, or you need to use a catheter.
Behavioral Changes to Increase Bladder Control
Simple changes to your everyday behavior could possibly help to reduce your symptoms. For example, getting more exercise and decreasing the amount of caffeine you consume each day can make you have to go to the bathroom less often. You may also be able to retrain your bladder by sticking to a schedule and avoiding going to the bathroom every time the urge hits. Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor are another option to prevent leaking.
The Option of Prescription Medication
Most doctors recommend lifestyle changes as a first-line approach for bladder control issues. If that fails to bring relief, your doctor might prescribe bladder control medication. You will need to carefully consider the potential side effects to determine if the risk of the medication outweighs its benefits.
This could be an option if lifestyle changes don’t help, you don’t want to take prescription medication, or your find the side effects of medication too unpleasant. It’s important to realize that this is a temporary solutions and that you must repeat the procedure approximately every six months. You will also need to deal with the risk of bladder infection and the possibility of having to self-catheterize.
Minimally Invasive InterStim Device by Medtronic
After surgical implantation during a short outpatient procedure, the InterStim device targets the nerves in your body that control bladder functioning and helps them return to normal. More than 225,000 people have received InterStim since it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and 85 percent having complete success within the first year. Talk to your urologist today about the risks and benefits of InterStim to help you decide if this is the right treatment for you.