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How is urge incontinence treated?

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Urgency incontinence is when a person has the overwhelming sensation to urinate and is unable to make it to the restroom. Urgency incontinence is caused by bladder spasms. When one's bladder is full, they have the overwhelming urgency to urinate, and when the bladder starts to spasm, the urethra relaxes and urine leaks out. Most women with urgency incontinence do not leak just small amounts of urine, they leak large amounts of urine. Urgency incontinence is commonly treated with frequent voiding as well as dietary changes. Some people with urgency incontinence have an increase in bladder spasms when they drink caffeine, carbonated drinks or any type of citrus drinks. Urgency incontinence can also be treated with medications that help relax the bladder, but these medications are known to have side effects such as constipation and severe dry mouth. Lastly, people with severe urgency incontinence can be treated with a procedure called InterStim, which is a surgical procedure where electrodes are placed through the sacrum to help desensitize the nerves going to the bladder and helping to relax the bladder and decrease bladder spasms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.