Behavioural Treatments For Urge Incontinence

Many patients are able to control and overcome the symptoms of urge incontinence with behavioural treatments.

The principle behind it is using electrical currents to reset the faulty nerve patterns which are the cause of your bladder overactivity.

This does not equate to saying “it is all in your mind”. It is an effective, targeted programme of strategies for changing the way your bladder functions and interacts with your mind.

Behavioural treatments for urge incontinence will include some or all of the following:

  • Keeping a bladder diary.You chart exactly how much fluid you drink, when you void and how much you void. This helps to pinpoint times when you are at risk of leaking and by measuring intake and voiding, helps to challenge your feelings that your bladder needs to be emptied.
  • Pelvic floor exercises with support and guidance.
  • Biofeedback.Sensors are placed where the pelvic floor muscles are close to the skin. These can be placed under your loose clothing. Another set of sensors is placed across the abdomen. A computer screen displays a graph of your muscles as they are being exercised. The idea is that by watching the information, you learn to relax your bladder and abdominal muscles and contract your pelvic floor muscles based on the information displayed. Biofeedback can also be used to check whether you are doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly.
  • Bladder training. A schedule for urinating is established and you are trained to resist the first urge to urinate until the scheduled time. The principle is to gradually increase the time between toilet visits. During bladder training, we can support you to develop relaxation and distraction techniques to help you overcome the urge to go to the toilet.

Medication for urge incontinence

Behavioural treatments and approaches can be combined with medication to effectively address urge incontinence. The drug duloxetine has a formulation used to treat incontinence and recently, a different type of medication, called beta-3 adrenergic agonist, has become available to treat incontinence and does not appear to have the side effects of dry mouth and constipation other medications can produce.

We would also use medication combined with other strategies as part of a holistic approach to addressing your problems.