What Are Some Treatments for Female Urinary Incontinence?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for female urinary incontinence include Kegel exercises, certain medications, biofeedback and neuromodulation, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Vaginal devices may be useful in cases of stress incontinence.

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Full Answer

Kegel exercises involve strengthening the pelvic muscles that hold in urine, explains the NIDDK. To perform these exercises, the patient tenses and holds the pelvic muscles for a count of three, relaxes for three seconds, and repeats for a total of 10 repetitions. Certain anticholinergic medications can also treat incontinence by relaxing the bladder to prevent spasms. Biofeedback is another option in which the patient uses electronic devices to track when the urethral muscles contract so she can gain greater control over her body's processes.

If the condition doesn't respond to medications or behavioral treatments, the patient may try neuromodulation, which involves stimulating the nerves leading from the spine to the bladder, notes the NIDDK. As of 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a device known as InterStim to perform this therapy. After testing whether the device reduces the patient's symptoms, the doctor may recommend that a surgeon implant it. This operation is expensive and may not be effective for everyone. In cases of stress leakage, the patient may try using a vaginal device such as a pessary, a stiff ring that places extra pressure on the urethra.

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