Both urinary incontinence and overactive bladder can destroy your confidence, kill your enthusiasm for the things you previously enjoyed and drive a wedge into your relationships. Almost 30% of women with incontinence say that their symptoms negatively impact their lives in an extreme way. Fortunately, conditions that cause incontinence are treatable with anti-incontinence procedures.
Some women are able to find relief from incontinence with pelvic floor exercises, physical therapy, behavior modification, or medications, but surgery will be required for others. Anti-incontinence procedures vary depending on the type of urinary incontinence you live with, and may include nerve stimulation and bladder neck suspension.
Bladder Neck Suspension for Urinary Incontinence
For women with severe incontinence accompanied by pelvic organ prolapse, a procedure called bladder neck suspension can reinforce your urethra and part of your bladder. Your urogynecological specialist will use several stitches to unite this area with ligament or cartilage from your pubic bone. With this sturdy support, your urethra will be more effective at preventing incontinence.
Nerve Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
A procedure that involves sending tiny electrical impulses to your nerves, nerve stimulation can block the messages that your bladder sends to your brain that tell you that you need to urinate when you really don’t.
Sacral nerve stimulation is a procedure in which your specialist will implant a device similar to a pacemaker that will carry electrical signals to your sacral nerve. The device can be controlled externally through a remote device.
Tibial nerve stimulation is an alternative to sacral nerve stimulation that doesn’t require the pacemaker-like device. In this procedure, a needle is placed near your ankle and then an electrical impulse is sent down the needle to your tibial nerve where it travels to the spine to interfere with the urination signal. This procedure needs to be repeated weekly for at least 12 weeks.