Treatment of Incontinence


Treatment of incontinence depends on its type, severity and the underlying cause. It can be successfully treated in most cases but if the underlying cause cannot be cured, there are ways to ease the symptoms and make this embarrassing problem less unpleasant.

Typically, the doctors start with the simplest and the least invasive treatments, of course, if the cause of incontinence does not require prompt medical treatment or surgery. Urinary incontinence which is not caused by an underlying medical condition is often managed with the following treatments:

Lifestyle changes. Urinary incontinence which is caused by excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption typically improves or goes away completely when the patient eliminates or reduces consumption of alcoholic or/and caffeinated beverages. Other lifestyle changes which may eliminate incontinence completely include weigh loss, avoidance of lifting heavy objects and regular exercise such as walking.

Kegel exercises. This method helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and is one of the most effective treatments for stress incontinence and urine leaking problems after childbirth. To do these pelvic floor exercises, imagine that you are trying to stop the urine flow and can easily be done at home.

Bladder training. This method involves delaying urination for five to ten minutes to literally force the bladder to hold urine that you avoid those little accidents. Bladder training sometimes includes scheduled voiding to empty the bladder which eases the so-called urge incontinence. If access to toilet facilities is difficult due to stairs then think about installing a stairlift from a reputable company and perhaps a refit of your bathroom or showers.

Electrical stimulation. This therapy involves the use of electric current to strengthen the pelvic muscles or stimulate the bladder nerves. It is usually used in women not responding to other treatments. Electrical stimulation requires multiple repetitions to show results.

Medications. Several types of medications can be used treat or ease the symptoms of urinary incontinence. Which ones are prescribed depends on the type of incontinence and its severity.

Medical devices. Women with stress incontinence due to prolapsed (dropped) uterus or bladder are usually prescribed a pessary to hold up the bladder and prevent incontinence.

Injections. They are used to bulk up the tissue surrounding the urethra and prevent urine leakage by keeping the urethra sealed. Just like electrical stimulation, treatment of incontinence with injections requires multiple repetitions.

Surgery. Surgical treatment is usually reserved for patients with severe incontinence who do not respond to other treatments. Surgery can fix the problem which is responsible for urine leakage but it may not eliminate incontinence completely.

Incontinence Insurance - Some products that can be used to treat or manage incontinence can be very costly this has lead to the advent of specialised medical insurance such as BUPA which works in a similar manner to your common plan.

Absorbent pads and catheter. When urinary incontinence cannot be cured, patients are prescribed absorbent pads or catheter depending on the severity of urine leakage.

Treatment of faecal incontinence usually starts with lifestyle and dietary changes such as increased fluid intake and eating a diet high in fibre content which usually eliminates the problem with faecal leakage due to constipation or/and haemorrhoids. Patients with chronic constipation may also be prescribed laxatives or stool softeners. People who have too loose stools, on the other hand, may be given medications to make the stools firmer.

Patients with faecal incontinence related to weakened muscles or loss of sensation to have a bowel movement may also benefit from bowel training involving exercises to strengthen the weakened rectal muscles. These exercises may be combined with scheduled trips to the toilet to help the patient establish a routine which in turn may help prevent faecal leakage. Surgery is the last treatment option for faecal incontinence, however, it is reserved for the severest cases not responding to other treatments.