Treating Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence (U.I.) can be treated using medical and non-medical methods. Medical treatments can range from medication to surgery while non-medical methods typically include diet modification, pelvic floor exercises or biofeedback Perhaps the most effective alternative to treating UI is electrical stimulation.
Kegel exercises are non-invasive and can be utilized in conjunction with other therapies. They are a means to voluntarily exercise the Pelvic Floor muscles. For more information go to:
Kegel exercises help the body improve its own function and are an important routine that enhances bladder performance.
Biofeedback therapy typically focuses on providing patients electrical information about the muscle contraction of sphincter pressure as a means to re-train patients on their bladder activity including Pelvic Floor muscles. This therapy has been shown to have good but partial results of improved control.
RADIO FREQUENCY THERAPY
This approach utilizes electrical energy to heat and shrink stretched tissue near the bladder and urethra and tighten the pelvic floor muscles. This therapy has been shown to yield limited results.
The therapy is called Extracorporeal Magnetic Innervation. The magnetic pulses penetrate the pelvic floor depolarizing the motor neuron membranes, including nerve impulses. As bone, tissue or fluids do not weaken the magnetic fields, all nerves in the path of the field are activated. Unlike electrical stimulation, magnetic therapy is not dependent on tissue impedance. Results are positive but apparently limited in efficacy. A significant number of patients experience improvements but the reduction of voiding frequency is reportedly not optimal.
Medication can be used to control Urinary Incontinence. The principal pharmaceutical products that are in the market include: Detrol, Ditropan, Sanctura, Enablex and Vesicare.
The use of pharmaceutical products to control UI does not treat the condition but in general it reduces the symptoms by blocking the nerve impulses to the bladder that cause it to contract and leak. Their effect tends to counteract the natural function of the body and their side effects include dry mouth, constipation, headache and blurred vision.
There are various surgical options to remedy Urinary Incontinence:
- SLING. Stress Incontinence is often the result of childbirth (in women) or prostate removal (in men) due to the bladder dropping down. Sling surgery consists of lifting the bladder and sewing it to a surrounding bone or tissue to maintain it in the new position.
- IMPLANTED PUMP. For men who have Stress Incontinence due to weakness of the sphincter muscles resulting from prostate removal, an artificial pump (artificial sphincter) can be implanted surgically.
- IMPLANTED STIMULATOR. There is a stimulation device which requires to be surgically implanted on the Sacral Nerve. It provides electrical stimulation on an ongoing basis. If the device is not successful it has to be removed surgically. Surgical procedures have complications inherent to their nature and the way in which they affect the body.