Your pelvic health matters

Bladder control problems are treatable conditions and symptoms are manageable. Contrary to preconceptions, urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging or inevitable after giving birth. It is a medical condition for which it is important to seek medical advice.

You don't have to deal with this on your own, you can talk about it.


What Is Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary or unwanted loss of urine. People use the bathroom very frequently and may leak urine.


You are not alone

OAB is extremely common and disrupts the lives of more than 17% of people in Europe¹. Urinary incontinence causes distress and alters quality of life. It is not just women that suffer.

65% of men and 67% of women with an overactive bladder¹ reported that their symptoms influenced their daily life. This condition can make simple everyday activities a challenge and social life very difficult.

You are not alone


Even if the journey can be long, solutions are available, and each patient may be offered suitable therapies according to his/her symptoms. Solutions are available.

If there is an underlying cause to the symptoms, this should be treated first.

First line treatments should be proposed by your doctor:

  • Behavioural techniques: lifestyle changes, fluid and diet modifications, bladder retaining, pelvic floor exercises/physical therapy
  • Medication

If these treatments are not working or not well tolerated, other specialized options can be offered such as Sacral Neuromodulation or Botulinum Toxin:

  • Botulinum toxin injection: Injecting botulinum toxin into the bladder wall may relieve the sense of urgency by preventing the nerves that control the bladder from communicating to the bladder muscles. Repeat injections are necessary
  • Sacral neuromodulation: Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy with the InterStim™ System can help to restore normal bladder function. This therapy addresses the communication problem between the bladder and the brain that may be causing your symptoms


Sacral neuromodulation is a well-established therapy with long-term positive outcomes shown in clinical studies and is a recommended therapy in international clinical guidelines. More than 270,000 patients worldwide have received the InterStim™ System for bladder control and bowel control. The InterStim™ System has been available for over 20 years, treating on average 50 patients every day, for different indications worldwide.

Sacral neuromodulation with InterStim™ therapy uses a small implanted medical device to send mild electrical pulses to modulate the nerves that control the bladder and the nerves that control the muscles related to urination. It helps the brain and the nerves to communicate so the bladder can function properly.

Getting InterStim™ Therapy

Getting InterStim™ Therapy

InterStim™ Therapy is performed in 2 phases:

  • Evaluation phase
  • Implant phase

The evaluation is a temporary phase used to measure the efficacy of the InterStim™ Therapy in your daily life. It is the only tool which can give an indication of the long-term outcome of the therapy.

Patients who experience relief from their symptoms during the evaluation phase may be candidates for a permanent implant like more than 270,000 patients worldwide.

DID YOU KNOW - That the InterStim(TM) evaluation will indicate in only a few  days if the Interstim(TM) Therapy is effective for you?

If the evaluation phase was successful, your doctor may propose you the implant of an InterStim™ system.

The InterStim™ system consists of:

  • An implantable neurostimulator (INS) which is like a pacemaker implanted under the skin
  • An electrode or thin wire that carries mild electrical pulses to the nerves controlling the bladder
  • A hand-held patient programmer that enables you to adjust the level of the stimulation and allows you to turn your neurostimulator on or off
DID YOU KNOW - That InterStim(TM) Therapy can also treat faecal incontinence alone or in combination with your urinary problems?  Ask for more information from your doctor.

Learn more about the types of urinary incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)*

Stress urinary  incontinence (SUI)*

Characterized by an involuntary loss of urine during effort: lifting heavy things, laughing, coughing, sneezing or doing exercise.

During these kind of activities, the pressure on the bladder increases and the urethra or urinary sphincter can't resist the pressure and will leak urine.

*InterStim™ is not indicated for treatment of this condition

Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Characterized by an increased pressure or abnormal contractions of the bladder. 

OAB consists of several symptoms and is defined by a sudden and irrepressible need to void which can't be postponed. 

Sometimes the frequency of the voids increases and there is a need to go to the bathroom more often during the day or night. Bladder leakages may also occur. 

In most cases, there is no cause found, so we talk about idiopathic overactive bladder.

The different symptoms of SUI and OAB described above can co-exist. In this case, it is called mixed incontinence.

Sacral neuromodulation therapy provided by the InterStim™ system is indicated for the management of the following chronic intractable (functional) disorders of the pelvis and lower urinary or intestinal tract: overactive bladder, fecal incontinence, and non-obstructive urinary retention.

Diathermy. Patients who have not demonstrated an appropriate response to test stimulation or are unable to operate the neurostimulator.

See the device manual for detailed information regarding the instructions for use, the implant procedure, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential adverse events. For further information, contact your local Medtronic representative and/or consult the Medtronic website at

Consult instructions for use at Manuals can be viewed using a current version of any major Internet browser. For best results, use Adobe Acrobat Reader® with the browser.

1Milsom, et al. “How widespread are the symptoms of an overactive bladder and how are they managed?“ A population-based prevalence study BJU Int. 2001 Jun; 87(9):760-6.