Urinary Incontinence (UI)occurs when a person’s urine leaks by accident. It can happen to anyone but is most common among mature women. After a lifetime of hormonal changes and the rigors of pregnancy, female pelvic floor muscles often become weakened. They sag and relax.
A little — or a lot — of urine may leak out when the mature woman laughs, sneezes, or engages in aerobic activities. This is common and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s more common than many of us realize. According to USA Today, nearly half of all females aged 50 and up experience incontinence. It’s so common that many women consider it a natural part of the aging process. Thus, they often shy away from seeking medical care for the condition.
- For those who do approach their doctors, the result is often a standard prescription like oxybutynin.
- Oxybutynin will solve incontinence but often leads to dehydration, constipation, and abdominal pain.
- In the mildest cases, it leads to xerostomia (dry mouth) and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome).
- In the worst cases, it can even cause facial swelling and hallucinations.
But, you have other options if you suffer from urinary incontinence. Today, we’ll explain some newer treatments for incontinence in mature women. We’ll also cover the diagnosis process with your doctor, so you’ll know what to expect at your appointment.
Botox for UI
Botox has a reputation for plumping faces and lips, but it can also help soothe the bladder and strengthen pelvic floor muscles, too. According to the Mayo Clinic, a urologist can perform these injections, and most women tolerate them well. The injections don’t “hurt,” but some women may experience short-term discomfort about as intense as the cramping pain during menstrual periods.
Botox relieves incontinence quickly, usually within a few days. The treatment lasts for about six months. If you’re thinking about a Botox injection for incontinence, get a referral from your primary care provider after an exam. You’ll want a physician who has experience with this treatment. The injections must be placed precisely to avoid unpleasant side effects.
Mirabegron for UI
Another prescription to consider is Mirabegron (Myrbetriq). Mirabegron relaxes the bladder muscle to increase bladder capacity. Unlike other incontinence medications that dehydrate a patient (at worst) and lead to dry eyes and mouth (at best), Mirabegron’s side effects can include a rise in blood pressure. So, it’s not appropriate for women with hypertension.
- Mirabegron is considerably more expensive than oxybutynin.
- It costs about $250 per month, compared with $10 for generic oxybutynin or $190 for brand-name Toviaz.
- So, be sure to talk to your doctor about which drugs will be covered by your insurance or Medicare Part D.
Ultimately, mature women have more choices in incontinence treatments than ever before. That said, your first step should be a consultation with your primary care physician and perhaps, a urologist, as well.
Get a Diagnosis from Your Physician
Your physician will give you a routine exam and ask questions about incontinence. You may also be required to complete some lab work.
This may seem like too many hoops to jump through. However, when you consider the reduced spending on pads, the decreased piles of laundry, and the improved quality of life, you may determine that these are hurdles worth conquering!
David York Celebrates New Female Urinary Incontinence Treatments in Manhattan
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