Non-Surgical Treatment of Incontinence

Once the cause of your urinary incontinence has been determined, Dr. Jones will develop a treatment plan for you. In some cases, surgery may be required. In other cases, non-surgical incontinence treatments are more appropriate.

Behavioral Techniques

The most common behavioral technique for treatment of incontinence is bladder training. During bladder training, you will resist the urge to urinate (after you feel the urge to go) for short, and then longer periods of time. The long-term goal of bladder training is to lengthen the amount of time between bathroom trips and to improve control over your bladder.

Other behavioral techniques for treating incontinence include:

  • Drinking less fluid
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages
  • Limiting fluids in the evening hours
  • Avoiding spicy or acidic foods
  • Urinating at scheduled times throughout the day

Physical Therapy (Kegal Exercises)

Kegal exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which will improve bladder control. To do the exercises:

  1. Tighten the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine once it has started
  2. Hold for about 3 seconds
  3. Release

Do these exercises several times throughout the day.

Medications

Incontinence medications are often used in addition to behavioral techniques. Common types of medication for incontinence include:

  • Anticholinergics (oxybutynin, tolterodine, darifenacin, trospium, solifenacin): Drugs that relieve bladder spasms
  • Antispasmodics (Urispas): Drugs that relieve bladder spasms
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, doxepin): Drugs that “paralyze” the smooth muscle of the bladder

Medical Devices

Certain medical devices can be used to prevent urinary leaks. Medical devices for male incontinence may include:

  • External catheter: A sleeve that is worn over the penis to collect urine
  • Penile clamp: A soft foam clamp that closes the urethra, preventing leakage

Interventional Therapies for Incontinence

Interventional therapies may be used to alone or in combination with behavioral therapies or medications for treating incontinence in men. Interventional therapies for incontinence may include:

  • Urethral bulking agents: Materials that are injected into the tissue surrounding the urethra in order to keep the urethra closed, thereby reducing leakage
  • Botox (botulinum toxin) injections: Injections of botox into the bladder muscle during cystoscopy
  • Electrical stimulation: Stimulation of the pelvic floor nerves to strengthen the muscles and improve bladder control

For more information on non-surgical treatment of incontinence, contact Dr. Leroy Jones, urologist in San Antonio.