Great news! You have plenty of treatment options, and the outlook is good. About 80% of those who are affected by urinary incontinence can get better with treatment. Sometimes a tiny dietary change, as simple as cutting back on fluids, is all that is needed.
We understand that living with incontinence can be quite stressful and depressing, especially with urge incontinence because it’s so unpredictable. Know there are plenty of treatment options available for you to try on your own or with the support of a doctor.
Talk about what’s going with your partner and others close to you. It could make your life easier if they know, and they will want to be there for you. If you and your friends and family focus on solutions, you’ll probably feel better.
Invasive Treatment Options
1. Urethral insert:
Somewhat like a tampon, this disposable device can serve as a barrier to leaks during special activities.
A catheter is a thin, flexible tube that goes into your urethra to drain your bladder. Men can wear a condom-like catheter device that fits over the penis. The catheter drains urine into a bag.
3. Vaginal pessary:
If your bladder has prolapsed (dropped), this ring-like device can act as support. It’ll be inserted and fitted in the doctor’s office. It’ll need to be removed and cleaned, and can help avoid surgery.
Fillers injection such as carbon beads and collagen help by plumping up the tissues where urine is released from your bladder, and help hold it in. This treatment is only used for stress incontinence. The fillers can go away with time, so you might need to have it done again.
If other methods for helping stress incontinence don’t work, your doctor might recommend surgery. These operations have very high success rates.
This is the most common surgical procedure to treat incontinence. Your doctor will fashion a “hammock” using mesh and tissue to support your urethra. It can be done as outpatient surgery with local anesthesia. This means you will be awake during the procedure and go home the same day.
How It’s Done
Sling Surgery for Women
Your surgeon will make a small cut inside your vagina, under your urethra. They’ll also make two tiny cuts above your pubic bone, just big enough to fit a needle through. They’ll then use a needle to put the sling under your urethra and behind your pubic bone. Skin glue or stitches that get absorbed by your body will be used to close the cuts.
Sling Surgery for Men
During the male sling procedure, an incision is made through the perineal tissue (the area between the scrotum and anus). The surgeon will then expose the urethra and use a supportive sling (a mesh-like surgical tape) around part of the urethral bulb that covers the most upper part of the urethra close to where it enters the area of the urethral sphincter. By wrapping the surgical tape around the urethral bulb, the sling gently moves the urethra into a new position and increases resistance in this area. This lends support to the bladder neck.
Your doctor might choose this method, along with a combo of others, if your bladder has dropped — your doctor might use the term “prolapsed.” He’ll use stitches to lift up and support tissues at the entrance to your bladder.