Greater Boston Urology Blog

What is Urinary Incontinence and How is It Treated?

In his own words, Dr. Ted O. Morgan discusses urinary incontinence, including treatment options (we've lightly edited the transcript for readability). You can also watch the video—he discusses everything around 1:40 in.

"Urinary incontinence is a condition that afflicts many people of both genders, all ages. It can be from very small scale to very significant and affect their quality of life to the sense that they don't want to leave the house.

The most common thing that we hear as urologists is that incontinence is something that happens as you age. The reality is that while it may be common, it's not something that should be accepted as normal.

Incontinence can be treated in very simple ways: lifestyle changes, diet changes, medicine changes, but the beginning is to ask for help.

pelvic floor PT

For some people, it would be adding medicines. For others, it could be exercise programs, rehabilitation of the muscles or the bladder activity muscles that you can modify if you learn how to modify them.

Beyond lifestyle and behavioral changes, it can be new medicines that are given. We're hesitant to start new medicines because a lot of the medicines have side effects, particularly in the elderly population.

There are things beyond medicines. There are therapies that are geared towards relaxing the nerves or decreasing the stimulus of the nerves (it's like an acupuncture therapy, which is an office-based therapy). There are more invasive things, which are very effective, like Botox therapy, which is a common procedure. There's neurostimulation, which are implanted devices into patients. Typically, those latter things, which are more invasive and more permanent, are not the normal thing; they're fairly rare to do."

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