Skip to content

Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Font Size

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 sling -- a medical device that is surgically inserted into the vagina and positioned underneath the urethra, says Brubaker.

"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."

1|2|3|4
Reviewed on May 13, 2008

Today on WebMD

Incontinence Women Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
exam room
Slideshow
 
Public restroom door sign
Slideshow
nachos and beer
Article
 
woman holding water
Slideshow
Food That Makes You Gotta Go
Slideshow
 
Male Incontinence Slideshow
Slideshow
sleepless woman
Article
 
Worried in bed
Article
woman standing in front of restroom sign
Slideshow
 
woman reading medicine bottle
Quiz
Woman on riverbank in autumn
Slideshow