There are various treatments available to people who have bladder control problems. Your healthcare adviser will assess your condition with you and help you decide what treatment and management options are right for you
Some people find that their diet and the types of fluids they drink have an effect on their toilet habits. Getting advice from a dietitian about what is most likely to affect bladder habits can be helpful.
If you have stress incontinence, first strategies usually mean exercises. These will help you identify and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which control the opening and closing of your urethra.
Biofeedback is a technique used when exercising that measures your muscle contractions as you do them.
Mild electrical stimulation is sometimes used to complement and enhance these exercises.
Behavioural therapy can help alleviate bladder capacity problems. There are techniques that can help you increase capacity and hold on for longer.
Medicines can help relieve some symptoms and increase muscle tone. They might be recommended to you to complement your other treatment options. They are not normally recommended as a first option for stress incontinence.
Electrical stimulation of the nerves that pass through the lower back can help control muscle reactions, reflexes and sensations. It is called sacral neuromodulation. It is also effective for dual incontinence.
Surgical options are available to those who need them. For instance, those people who have tried other therapies that haven't worked or are poorly tolerated.
Surgery can also fix or alleviate muscular damage or slippages in the structures or organs in your pelvic and bladder area. Your doctor will tell you about surgery if you need it.
There are many continence products available. Designs and materials as well as product choice and performance have improved in recent years. These products aid skin care, leakage management and other aspects of continence care.
- Continence Foundation: Symptoms and treatments
- Incontact. Bi-monthly treatment review
- NHS Direct. Treatments for urinary incontinence
- NHS. Northern Ireland
- NHS 24 Scotland: Body key (self help guide)
- NHS Direct Wales
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