Urinary incontinence, or the loss of urine, affects over 25 million adults. It happens when your bladder muscles weaken and can’t hold in urine. Your health care professional can help you manage it with lifestyle changes, medications and surgery.
Treatment starts with a medical exam, including questions about your urinary habits and a physical. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a bladder diary. It can help you figure out how much you drink, when you urinate and when you leak urine.
For urge incontinence, your provider may recommend a medicine that blocks nerves that control bladder muscle contractions. These are called anticholinergics, and include oxybutynin (Ditropan; Oxytrol) and tolterodine (Detrol). They can reduce the need to urinate and prevent leakage. But side effects can include dry mouth, nose or throat and constipation.
There are fewer drug options for stress incontinence, which causes urine leaks when you exercise, cough, sneeze or lift something heavy. Your provider may recommend a device that supports the bladder base, such as a pessary. This is a small, tampon-like disposable device you insert into your urethra before a risky activity to prevent urinary leakage. It’s worn all day and needs routine cleaning.
For functional incontinence, your provider may recommend techniques that improve pelvic muscle strength, such as Kegel exercises and biofeedback. Behavioral therapies, such as bladder retraining to teach you to resist the urge to void and to expand your interval between urinating, can also help. https://direct-ui.com/