Voiding dysfunction — a term that encompasses a variety of urinary problems, including urinary incontinence — can affect your life in ways both big and small. If you experience leakage when you laugh, cough, exercise or lift something heavy (known as stress urinary incontinence), you may be reluctant to spend time with friends or family, or you may feel self-conscious at work. An overactive bladder (urge incontinence) can have you heading for the bathroom much more often than normal, interrupting your favorite activities, workday and sleep.
An overactive bladder or leakage isn’t something that happens to everyone as they age, you don’t have to learn to live with it — and you’re not alone. Urinary problems are quite common, and many people are reluctant to talk about them with a physician. If that includes you, don’t let a little awkwardness keep you from a better quality of life. Bladder problems are treatable, and MultiCare urologists can help you find relief through medication, exercises you can perform at home or a simple procedure.
Treatment Options for Overactive Bladder
- Intravesical Botox injection. You get the urge to go when nerves tell the bladder muscles to work. With overactive bladder, this system of communication breaks down, and the bladder muscles contract too often. Given in a urologist’s office every six months, Botox injections block faulty nerve signals so you won’t feel like you need to go as often.
- Posterior tibial nerve stimulation. This treatment takes place in a urologist’s office and involves placing a needle through the skin of the lower leg into a nerve. A battery-powered device sends an electrical signal to the needle, and the signal travels through the nervous system to the nerves that control the urge to go. That prompts them to communicate properly with the bladder muscles. You’ll receive treatment once per week for several weeks.
- Sacral neuromodulation. This treatment involves a procedure to place a small device in the body that sends electrical signals to the nerves that control the bladder. You can use a handheld programmer to tell the implanted device to send signals to the nerves, which helps them talk to the brain. That helps your bladder work correctly.
Treatment Options for Stress Urinary Incontinence
- Artificial urinary sphincter. The urinary sphincter is a muscle that prevents leakage by blocking the opening of the bladder. If this muscle stops working properly, accidents can occur. A urologist can perform a procedure to replace a faulty urinary sphincter with an artificial one. The procedure includes placing a small pump near your bladder, which you control to make the new sphincter work.
- Urethral sling. To control leakage, a urologist can perform a procedure to create a urethral sling. This is a structure made from your tissue or an artificial material that helps keep urine from leaking from the urethra — the tube that carries urine out of the bladder — and the bladder neck, which connects the bladder and urethra.
Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment
Living with leaking or an overactive bladder? MultiCare can help. Contact one of our convenient South Sound locations or find a provider near you today.
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