How Can Botox Be Used to Treat Urinary Incontinence
What is Urinary Incontinence (Overactive Bladder)?
Urinary incontinence, often referred to as overactive bladder, is when an individual loses the ability to control their bladder. It can range in severity from an occasional leak, often when you cough or sneeze, to having such a strong urge to urinate that you cannot reach a toilet in time.
While it occurs more in older adults, urinary incontinence can affect anyone at any age. It is an embarrassing problem for many, but there are treatment options to help ease the discomfort or to stop urinary incontinence altogether. Keep reading to learn more about overactive bladder, and how Botox bladder injections may be the right treatment option for you.
What Causes Overactive Bladder?
For those who have a normal bladder function, as your bladder fills, nerve signals are sent to your brain to trigger the need to urinate. When you use the restroom, the nerve signals help relax the pelvic floor muscles and the urinary sphincter muscles. This helps push the urine out. For those with involuntary bladder contractions, the muscles of the bladder contract involuntarily, even when the volume of urine in your bladder is low. This creates the need to urinate.
There are many conditions that may contribute to an overactive bladder, including:
- Neurological disorders, including stroke and multiple sclerosis
- Certain medications
- Tumors, bladder stones, or other abnormalities in the bladder
- Enlarged prostate, constipation, or other factors that obstruct bladder outflow
- Excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol
- Difficulty walking
- Incomplete bladder emptying
Is Botox Effective for Overactive Bladder?
While you may be familiar with Botox helping wrinkles, excessive sweating, and migraines, did you know that Botox can also be an effective treatment for urinary incontinence? Injecting Botox into your bladder helps your muscles relax. This helps give you more time to get to the bathroom when you feel the need to urinate.
The Procedure is Quick and Easy
The entire process should take about one hour and can be given in the comfort and convenience of your doctor’s office. First, your bladder will be numbed with lidocaine for a more comfortable treatment experience. Your physician will use a cystoscope to inject the Botox into multiple areas of your bladder muscle. The procedure isn’t painful, but you may experience some minor discomfort.
How Long do Botox Bladder Injections Last?
Botox injections can help those suffering from an overactive bladder for up to 6 months, which is why it is often administered twice a year. Most individuals who choose Botox as a treatment option for an overactive bladder see symptom relief in a few short days. Your doctor administering the Botox can help create a treatment schedule that is best suited for your body.
Side Effects of Botox for Urinary Incontinence
Like any procedure, there are potential side effects for using Botox to treat an overactive bladder. Some of the most common side effects include:
It’s important to note that you should not treat your urinary incontinence with Botox if you currently have a urinary tract infection or if you are not willing/able to use a disposable self-catheter if necessary. You should also take antibiotics before, during, and after treatment to help decrease the chances of developing an infection.
Botox Bladder Injections in New Jersey
If you wish to treat your overactive bladder with Botox, the highly qualified team of urologists at Somerset Urological Associates is happy to help. Our team of physicians is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your urinary incontinence. We seek to provide the highest level of care through our skilled and knowledgeable healthcare professionals and advanced technologies. For more information, please contact us today: (908) 927-0300.