There are many ways to manage bladder control problems. Remember, if conservative treatments don’t deliver the results you need, you have more options.

Step 1: Diagnosis 

"What is happening to me?"

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Female physician talks to patient, holds clipboard

If you’re experiencing symptoms of bladder control problems, it’s time to meet with a bladder control specialist. Your doctor may ask you to fill out a symptom diary to get a better idea of your daily experience and confirm your diagnosis.

SYMPTOMS OF OVERACTIVE BLADDER (OAB) INCLUDE:

Urge incontinence

  • Going before you reach the bathroom
  • Experiencing frequent leaks
  • Using pads or protective garments

Urgency-frequency

  • Frequent, uncontrollable urge to go
  • Going more than 8 times a day
  • Feeling like your bladder is never empty

SYMPTOMS OF URINARY RETENTION INCLUDE:

  • Can’t tell if your bladder is full
  • Holding increasingly large amounts of urine
  • Weak or dribbling stream
  • Needing to use a catheter

Step 2: Lifestyle Changes

"What should I try first?"

Two women power walk together; talk and laugh
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Conservative treatments can help some people, but may not work very well (or at all) for others. All of these are relatively simple behavioral changes that you may already be doing.

  • Diet and exercise: Changes may include decreasing your caffeine intake and getting more exercise.
  • Bladder retraining: Also called biofeedback, this involves delaying going to the bathroom and sticking to a strict schedule.
  • Pelvic floor strengthening: This can be accomplished through Kegel exercises, which involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Step 3: Oral Medications

"Are there medications for OAB?"

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Patient holds meds in one hand, water in other

When lifestyle changes fail to deliver the results you want, oral medications are the next step. These medications can help control symptoms, but may cause other issues.

You have to remember to take these medications every day. Some side effects can be unpleasant, such as dry mouth, blurry vision, constipation, and hypertension. Other side effects are more serious. In fact, limited study data suggests that one class of drugs for OAB (anticholinergics) may increase risk of dementia in elderly people.1

Even more important, these medications don’t always work. In one survey, 72 percent of people said they stopped taking their medication after just six months.2

STEP 4: ADVANCED THERAPIES

"What if medications don’t work for me?”

Interstim Neurostimulator
Image of the NURO system device

If both lifestyle changes and medications fail to improve bladder control, there are non-medication treatment options to consider.

MEDTRONIC BLADDER CONTROL THERAPY DELIVERED BY THE INTERSTIMTM SYSTEM

If you’re ready to try an advanced approach, Medtronic bladder control therapy delivered by the InterStim™ system can help. It targets the nerves that control your bladder to help it function normally again.

  • Try it during an evaluation
  • Proven long-term relief3,4
  • Resources and support available

Implanting an InterStim™ system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks. Complications can occur with the evaluation, including movement of the wire, technical problems with the device, and some temporary pain. Your doctor or nurse will provide you with the information regarding how to operate the test device, and inform you of other precautions related to the evaluation and activity restrictions.

MEDTRONIC BLADDER CONTROL THERAPY DELIVERED BY THE NUROTM SYSTEM

Medtronic bladder control therapy delivered by the NURO™ system targets the tibial nerve to help you regain control of your bladder. By restoring* bladder function, this therapy puts you on a path to fewer trips to the bathroom, fewer pads per day, and more of the activities you enjoy.6,7

  • Convenience of in-office treatment
  • Proven to restore bladder function
  • Resources and support available

Most common side effects are temporary and include mild pain or skin inflammation at or near the stimulation site. The NURO™ system does not treat symptoms of urinary retention.

INJECTED MEDICATIONS

Injected medications can temporarily treat OAB but may raise other concerns.

  • Must be repeated every 3-6 months
  • Potentially requires self-catheterization8
  • Increases the risk of bladder infection due to self-catheterization8

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Restored bladder function is defined as a measurable reduction in urinary frequency and/or urinary incontinence episodes following PTNM treatment.

1

Gray S, Anderson M, Dublin S et al. Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(3):401-407.

2

Yeaw J, Benner J, Walt JG et al. Comparing adherence and persistence across 6 chronic medication classes. J Manag Care Pharm. 2009:15(9): 724-736.

3

Siegel S, Noblett K, Mangel J, et al.  Five-Year Follow-up Results of a Prospective, Multicenter Study of Patients with Overactive Bladder Treated with Sacral Neuromodulation. The Journal of Urology 2018;Volume 199(1), 229 – 236.

4

Medtronic InterStim Therapy Clinical Data Summary (2018)

5

Kobashi K, Nitti V, Margolis E, et al.  A prospective study to evaluate efficacy using the NURO percutaneous neuromodulation system in drug naive patients with overactive bladder syndrome. Urology 2019; 131: 77-82.

6

van der Pal, F., M. R. van Balken, et al. (2006). "Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of refractory overactive bladder syndrome: is maintenance treatment necessary?" BJU Int. 97(3): 547-550.

7

Yoong, W., P. Shah, et al. (2013). "Sustained effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder syndrome: 2-year follow-up of positive responders." Int Urogynecol J. 24(5): 795-799.

8

Visco A, Brubaker L, Richter HE et al. Anticholinergic therapy vs. onabotulinumtoxinA for urgency urinary incontinence. New Engl J Med. 2012;367(19):1803-1813.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.