The Different Ways that Doctors Treat Urinary Incontinence
by Gary Sattin on Aug 20, 2022
When urinary incontinence reaches a point where it’s interfering with your daily life, it may be time to visit the doctor. But what, exactly, can a doctor do for you? While there are some things you can do on your own to cope with incontinence, there’s a chance that your doctor can help you further. We list a few different ways a doctor may treat urinary incontinence.
Conduct a Physical Inspection
The first thing your doctor may want to do is conduct a brief physical inspection. They will ask you a few questions about your experiences and conduct a stress test. During this test, they may ask you to cough or laugh to evaluate if any of these actions cause you to leak. They may then conduct a more thorough physical inspection depending on the outcome.
Before your doctor moves on to any intensive treatments, they may simply recommend a few different lifestyle changes. Doctors typically schedule a follow-up appointment as well to determine if any of these have been effective. Some of these changes may include the following:
- Kegel exercises
- Removing food or drink with spicy or acidic properties from your diet
- Bladder training
- Keeping an emergency kit with adult care products to make you more comfortable.
Another simple avenue your doctor may take is to prescribe you medication. The types of medicine they may recommend include the following:
There are a couple of different devices that you could use to help incontinence. These may include the following:
- A urethral insert, which is a plug inserted into the urethra and removed before urination. These are known to cause UTI’s, so not many individuals use them.
- A urine seal is a foam pad placed over the urethral opening. These pads are disposable—a woman will use a new one after each time they urinate. Women only use these pads for stress incontinence.
- A doctor may also size a bladder neck support device, which they’ll insert inside the vagina. It works to support the urethra, and a woman must clean it each time they urinate. Unfortunately, these devices are also known to cause UTIs.
At times, a doctor may decide to treat urinary stress incontinence via sling surgery. As its name suggests, a surgeon will use either mesh or human tissue to create a sling, which they place beneath the urethra. This sling serves to lift the neck of your bladder to prevent leaks.