Urodynamics is a study of the bladder which will help identify the cause of urinary incontinence. This is a painless outpatient procedure, performed by a Urodynamic Nurse, that measures how the bladder works and takes approximately one hour to complete.
Happily now there are a good range of treatments for urinary incontinence. Lifestyle alterations can also be very helpful such as losing weight, not drinking excessive caffeine and looking at the diet as some food and red wine can make bladder problems worse. Tablets to relax the bladder can also be very helpful – there are a number of tablets, sadly some of them have side effects and it may be necessary to try several different types before finding a tablet that helps.
A new surgical operation has come in to help detrusor over activity in the last few years – injecting Botox into the bladder muscle. The theory is if the bladder muscle is over active then tiny injections of Botox to relax the bladder muscle will help treat the problem.
If stress incontinence is confirmed bladder surgery can make a huge improvement to these symptoms. The commonest operation performed in the UK today involves placing a tape underneath the neck of the bladder to lift the bladder neck and improve the leakage – a TVT Sling procedure.
Urinary symptoms are very common and should not be accepted as a ‘normal’ part of getting older. The vast majority of women with bladder problems can have a major improvement after finding out what the problem is and having appropriate therapy. The most important message is don’t put up with your symptoms, there is a lot that can be done!