Dr. Alinsod shares the treatments available to women with overactive bladders.
Overactive bladder and the incontinence that can result from it is sometimes very difficult to treat. Sometimes you have to tell the patient to change their lifestyle, and I have a patient who drinks five to ten cups of coffee a day, they are going to feel like they have to go all the time, and they may have the overactive bladder and have leakage.
So lifestyle change, dietary change can be very important with people with overactive bladder. Avoidance of things such as caffeine, alcohol, certain orange juices or tropical juices may help them. Other treatments for overactive bladder include the pelvic floor stimulation therapy. It does work. These devices that are placed inside the vagina, that then cause electrical current to make it contract, can sometimes reduce the symptoms of overactive bladder. We don’t know how that works, but it seems to work.
And then the last part is if the patient is willing to take medications there are certain medications that they can take to prevent the spasms of the bladder. There’s a lot of press on this, and so things like Ditropan, Detrol, Vesicare, Enablex are medications that can be used to decrease the spasms of the bladder.
Other treatments–if none of these work, you can actually do this tibial nerve stimulation. You put this little needle on your tibial nerve by your ankle, and it stimulates the nerve somehow that that controls the bladder, and you can decrease your symptoms that way.
If none of these work, then you can also do Botox injection into the bladder to paralyze the bladder a little bit so that you don’t have the urge all the time, and then as a last resort, you can put nerve implants in your spine in the back. Electrical leads are placed into the spine and a battery pack stimulates the nerve so that it can relax.
Treatments for overflow incontinence include simple things like watch what you drink, perhaps limiting the amount of fluids you have, and also perhaps using timed voiding.
About Dr. Alinsod, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., A.C.G.E.:
Dr. Red Alinsod, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., A.C.G.E., graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California, in 1986 and completed his OB/GYN residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center in 1990. His focus in those early years was pelvic surgery. He was the first Rutledge Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer and Tumor Institute and was also selected as a Galloway Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center.
Visit Dr. Alinsod at South Coast Urogynecology