Living with stress incontinence is not always easy. Simply laughing, coughing or sneezing can cause sometimes embarrassing and frustrating involuntary leakage of urine. Stress incontinence is different from other forms of the affliction because it can strike unexpectedly during simple activities.
Unfortunately, most people don’t seek stress incontinence treatment for a variety of reasons. Visiting a physician and receiving the proper course of stress incontinence treatment now could save you from having to undergo potentially invasive surgery later on.
Stress Incontinence Treatment
Before any course of stress incontinence treatment begins, it’s important to visit a physician or health care specialist. It’s recommended not to start any stress incontinence treatment regimen until consulting with a doctor. An impartial analysis of the severity of symptoms and impact on your daily activities will determine the stress incontinence treatment methods.
Once you’ve been properly diagnosed, your physician will select from a variety of stress incontinence treatment plans. In many cases, changes in lifestyle and behavior will be advised. Some of those changes include:
- Dietary Changes (Obesity/Certain Types of Food)
- Reducing/Eliminating Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
- Quitting Smoking
- Consuming Less Fluids
You may also be asked to keep a diary in order to keep track of your urinary habits.
Pelvic muscle exercises known as “Kegels” are another form of stress incontinence treatment. These exercises are easy to perform and can be done anywhere. Women may be asked to use vaginal cones in conjunction with the exercises.
If you are unable to do the exercises, electrical stimulation or biofeedback are other conservative forms of stress incontinence treatment. The goal of electrical stimulation is to contract and strengthen the muscles the exercises otherwise normally would. Biofeedback is used to help teach you how to control body responses.
Stress incontinence treatment can also involve medication. Drugs are typically prescribed for mild and moderate forms of incontinence. Some stress incontinence treatment medications include alpha-adrenergic agonist, antimuscarinic, anticholinergic, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Stress Incontinence Surgery
If the aforementioned forms of stress incontinence treatment prove to be unsuccessful, stress incontinence surgery will be the next plan of attack. For women, a variation of a sling procedure is the most common stress incontinence surgery. The types of sling procedures are:
- Tension-Free Transvaginal Sling
- Transobturator Tape Sling
Bladder neck suspension and bladder repositioning are two other forms of stress incontinence surgery for women. For men, artificial urinary sphincter and perineal sling procedures are available.