Urinary incontinence is an issue that affects both men and women, old and young alike. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the source of your inconvenience and its severity. Treatment isn’t something you should delay, and it typically starts after you receive your diagnosis. Here are the common ways in which urinary incontinence is treated.
Medications are often used in conjunction with physical therapy and lifestyle management to treat urinary incontinence. There are four main types: alpha-blockers, anticholinergics, Mirabegron, and topical estrogen.
Alpha-blockers are helpful for controlling urinary urges. Those with an overactive bladder might end up being prescribed medications like fesoterodine (Toviaz), oxybutynin (Ditropan XL), trospium chloride, tolterodine (Detrol), solifenacin (Vesicare), and darifenacin (Enablex).
More commonly prescribed for men who experience urinary incontinence, alpha-blockers work by relaxing the bladder neck muscles as well as the muscle fibers located in the prostate. This makes it less difficult to empty the bladder. Examples of alpha-blockers that get prescribed include alfuzosin (Uroxatral), tamsulosin (Flomax), doxazosin (Cardura), and silodosin (Rapaflo).
Mirabegron (Myrbetrig) aims to help people more fully empty their bladders. This medication will relax the bladder muscle. Also, it can elevate the amount of urine your bladder can hold without feeling too full. In doing so, it might even be able to help you more thoroughly empty your bladder so that you are not experiencing urges shortly after urinating.
Women who struggle with urinary incontinence might be prescribed topical estrogen. A small dose of it can be applied to the vaginal and urethra areas so as to rejuvenate and tone those spots.
Bladder training is one type of behavior-based treatment method which involves you lengthening the time between your toilet trips until you urinate every 2.5-3.5 hours. Double voiding (urinating once, waiting a few minutes, then going again), planned visits to the bathroom, and managing your diet and fluid intake are other such methods taught as part of treatment.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Those with urinary incontinence often see a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor strengthening. These are known as Kegel exercises, and using this method involves contracting, holding, and releasing the pelvic floor muscles. When strengthened, these muscles can help improve urinary continence.
Beyond these less invasive techniques, you might need to undergo interventional therapies, surgeries, or to use a catheter. The objective is to keep you as comfortable as possible while making progress on your urinations. That way, you can get back to leading your life the way you want, not having to run to the restroom all the time.