Incontinence: A Woman's Little Secret
If you think urinary incontinence only affects older women, think again. Bladder control issues affect younger, active women, too -- are you one of them?
Amping Up Your Treatment: Medications and Surgery continued...
A transdermal patch called Oxytrol has also been effective, says Galloway,
who adds that skin irritation at the patch
site does occur in some patients.
Surgery: There are 300 surgical options to treat
incontinence, says Brubaker.
"The hard part is picking the surgery that has the best chance of working
well for that woman long-term," he says. "Surgery can create problems. It can
cause difficulty in urinating, worsen an urge incontinence problem, or it can
do nothing to solve the problem."
A large NIH study is examining the use of a
-- a medical device that is surgically
inserted into the vagina and positioned underneath the urethra, says
"It helps the urethral sphincter remain closed when abdominal pressure tries
to open it. At least, we think that's how it works," he says. "We have only
five-year outcomes on one group of these devices. But they look promising."
"Before having any surgery, ask your doctor for names of other patients who
have had the procedure in question," says Galloway.
"Talk to them, find out how it worked. You'll be in a much better position
to decide what to do."