Treatments for Incontinence
Therapies to help you regain control of your bladder may include:
- Bladder training: You learn to resist the urge to void and gradually expand the intervals between voiding.
- Toileting assistance: This employs routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules and prompted voiding to empty the bladder regularly to prevent leaking.
- Kegel exercises: Regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can reduce or prevent urinary incontinence. This is particularly helpful for younger women. Exercise 30 to 80 times daily for at least 8 weeks.
- Biofeedback: When combined with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps people gain awareness and control of their pelvic muscles.
- Vaginal weight training: Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the vaginal muscles. Perform twice daily for 15 minutes, for four to six weeks.
- Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: Mild electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions. This should be used in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
- Medication: This includes specific drugs for incontinence as well as estrogen therapy, which may be helpful when combined with other treatments for postmenopausal women with urinary incontinence.
- Botox therapy: Botox injected in the bladder muscle can partially paralyze it to prevent hypersensitivity and overactive bladder symptoms.
- Surgery: This may be necessary if the incontinence is related to structural problems such as an abnormally positioned bladder or a blockage.
- Dietary modifications: These include eliminating caffeinated beverages, alcohol and chocolate, and minimizing the use of citrus fruit, spices and condiments, sugar and artificial sweeteners, creamy cheeses, and artificial flavors and preservatives. In addition, you may want to continue to drink plenty of water and eat a high-fiber diet to avoid constipation, which can make urinary incontinence worse.