Menopause and Bladder Control Problems
What Treatments Are Available for Bladder Control Problems?
Treatment depends on the kind of bladder control problem you have. Your doctor may recommend some of the following lifestyle changes to try first:
- Limiting caffeine consumption
- Strengthening pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. To do Kegel exercises, you squeeze and hold the pelvic muscles and then relax them. If you are unsure how to do Kegel exercises, ask your doctor for further instructions.
- Training the bladder to hold more urine
- Timed voiding
- Weight loss for obese women may result in improved bladder control.
If these simple treatments do not work, there are other options, including:
- Biofeedback, which is a method of learning to voluntarily control certain body functions with the help of a special machine.
- Medication such as Detrol, Vesicare, Toviaz, Ditropan, Myrbetriq, or Oxytrol. Oxytrol for women can be bought over the counter.
- A device inserted in the vagina to hold up the bladder (pessary).
- A device inserted directly into the urethra or a seal placed on the outside to block leakage.
- A device implanted just under the skin that emits electrical stimulation to the pelvic muscles.
- Botox, which can be injected into the bladder muscle causing it to relax, can be used in adults that do not respond to or cannot use the medications listed above.
- Surgery to lift a sagging bladder or urethra into a better position.
Estrogen therapy is not FDA-approved for the treatment of incontinence, but local estrogen therapy may help some women with bladder and vaginal symptoms.
What Doctor Do I See About My Bladder Control Problem?
Professionals who can help you with bladder control include:
- Your primary care doctor
- A gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in women's health care)
- A urogynecologist (an expert in women's bladder problems)
- A urologist (an expert in bladder problems)
- A nurse or midlevel provider such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant
- A physical therapist