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Treatment for the loss of bladder control, also known as incontinence, depends on both its cause and severity. It may be that simply making changes in your consumption of liquids and adhering to a specific toileting schedule may significantly reduce your symptoms. If your incontinence is severe or related to a specific medical condition, you may need to take medication, undergo a surgical procedure, or simply manage your condition by using various incontinence aids.
When you first experience loss of bladder control, your doctor may advise making various dietary and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding foods and beverages that are highly acidic or contain caffeine, as these can irritate the bladder and contribute to incontinence. He may also suggest that you pay particular attention to when and how often you use the toilet, scheduling visits so that you are routinely emptying your bladder. If you have difficulty with frequent nighttime urination, your doctor may suggest not drinking beverages several hours before going to bed. To manage the leakage of urine, you may be advised to wear incontinence pads or underwear.
If your loss of bladder control appears to be connected with the weakening of your pelvic floor, your doctor may recommend that you begin performing kegel exercises, in which you repeatedly contract and release your pelvic muscles. Your doctor may have access to a biofeedback device that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your pelvic contractions and improve the efficacy of your exercises. If you are female, you may want to try using vaginal weights or cones, tampon-like devices that you insert into your vagina and hold in place for a period of time, working up to heavier weights to improve your pelvic strength. If the kegel exercises are ineffective, your doctor may suggest electrical stimulation treatments that will contract your pelvic floor muscles. She may also prescribe devices that you can use to support your pelvic floor and reduce pressure on your bladder.
Other treatments depend on the cause of your loss of bladder control and may include thickening the lining of your urethra, which can be done with injections of so-called bulking agents, such as collagen. Experimental treatments, such as botulinum toxin injections into bladder muscles, may also be attempted. Surgery to treat loss of bladder control is also a possibility, which may involve the implantation of permanent devices or even the enlargement of the bladder.
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