|A physician will help you determine what options are best.|
First, before your physician can offer treatment options, they will run some tests and evaluate your symptoms and check to see if your urinary system is working correctly. This is done to rule out medical conditions that may cause leakage. The tests may include urine studies, checks for infections, stones, or other abnormalities, and almost always there will be a bladder stress test. Depending on results, the phyisican may use a catheter to check for leftover urine in the bladder after voiding, do an ultrasound, cystoscopy or urodynamic testing.
Once the testing is complete and results are in, your physician will recommend a specific treatment course. The most common treatments include the following:
These are usually kegels. If you suffer stress incontinence, this is one of the best things you can do to eliminate symptoms. This is a process of strengthening muscles in the pelvic floor, the muscles used to control the flow of urine. Your physician can help you pinpoint these muscles with biofeedback. You should do about 10-20 Kegels a day.
The next option is to try and put your bladder on a schedule. This is a great option for those with urge incontinence, as it helps you gain control. A bathroom schedule of visiting once every two hours, for example, can help you plan your day, and be able to go longer between voiding. To do bladder training you go to the bathroom at regularly scheduled intervals, and you use Kegels and relaxation techniques to resist the urge to go between those intervals, training yourself to go less frequently.
Most agree that medication is a good short term solution, but not the best long term. However, some drugs can help an overactive bladder by controlling contractions or relaxing the bladder muscles. Most of the time, these drugs include side effects, so it is best to talk to your doctor about other options first. Sometimes medications you are already on contribute to incontinence, and changing types or dosage can help. In other cases, medication is a huge help. For example, men with prostate related bladder control can benefit from alpha blockers which relax the prostate and bladder neck. The best way to know if medication is right for you is to talk to your urologist.
There are surgeries and devices available that can help with incontinence. Many women who have had multiple children find that surgery is the fastest way to solve their stress incontinence problems. A pessary device, for example, can be inserted into the vagina. It presses against the bladder neck and urethra so there is less leakage. Another option is an injection of collagen to narrow the opening. A sling can help the bladder muscles by adding support, or stimulation therapy can help urge incontinence by reducing nerve signals. Again, a physician will help you determine if these options are for you.
When figuring out treatment, or going down the longer treatment road, using absorbent products will help manage the symptoms. There are many options, disposable and reusable, for all levels and types of incontinence. It is easy to get confused about products, brands, styles, absorbency, and sizes. Consider buying samples first, and cases later to save money and find the right product for your needs. Samples can be purchased in sets of 4 for just $3.49. Learn more about our Sample Service.
|Try our Sample Service to avoid making costly mistakes.|
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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.