Female incontinence occurs when muscles around the bladder are weak, which is why doctors recommend that kegel exercises be done to strengthen the base of one’s core in order to have better control of one’s muscles. Another method that has achieved success is neural stimulation – a process by which one’s neural network is stimulated in order to increase the activity around the bladder and kidneys, giving those who suffer from the condition better control of the area.
But a new treatment, botox, may actually be better than neural stimulation. The results found in a study by Dr. Cindy Amundsen of Duke University, published on October 4th, may provide an alternative course of treatment to women suffering from incontinence. The treatment is not without its side effects, however, but its beneficent promises – as well as the findings of the study – are explored in greater detail here.
The Population Studied
The study took place between February 2012 to January 2015. It involved 381 women at 9 medical centers in the United States. These women were recorded to have at least six urgency incontinence episodes over three consecutive days; they were in this study because other lesser treatments (like reducing water and coffee intake, doing kegel exercises, etc.) had not helped. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either sacral neuromodulation or a 200 unit injection of onabotulinumtoxinA (botox). 189 received the former while 192 received the latter. The average age of each participant was 63 years.
This landmark study served as the first randomized trial comparing the effectiveness of two FDA approved methods for female incontinence; the first being nerve stimulation – which must be done with surgery, and the second being botox – which is less invasive and can be done with injections.
“What we have learned from the study is the treatments are both good and it will just help inform physicians and patients who are trying to make a decision between these two therapies,” Amundsen said in an interview with NBC. Both treatments proved to be statistically significant and both helped women overcome the symptoms associated with urinary incontinence.
Female incontinence, which affects between 25 to 45 percent of all women is one of the most common conditions worldwide. However, the embarrassment caused by this issue leads many women to under report their symptoms and conditions to their doctor. Interestingly, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institute of Health, remarked that women experience urinary incontinence twice as often as men (Source). The reasons are many, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, as well as the anatomical layout of a woman’s female urinary tract.
A DIfferent Kind Of Botox Treatment
So what does this mean for women that may want to get botox? How does the treatment work exactly – does one go in for a face, chin and neck touch-up and come out of the doctor’s office with lessened urinary incontinence urges? Not exactly.
Dr. Amundsen explains that the botox treatment is not superior to the nerve stimulator, otherwise known as InterStim, rather the two methods both provide beneficent effects and come with their own side effects. It will be up to the individual and their doctor to choose which treatment is right for them. Although botox appeared to work slightly better than the InterStim, women given botox had a greater risk of urinary tract infections. Botox did increase the risk of UTIs and need for self catheterizations. Botox patients had a risk of UTI of 35 percent, compared to 11 percent when compared to the InterStim.
Readers may be wondering as to the cost of these two procedures, however, the study didn’t compare the cost of the treatments. Luckily they are both covered by insurance, including Medicare.
For a low cost solution that is less invasive, women should consider incontinence panties. Incontinence panties, unlike disposables last up to 200 washes. Alternating between two pairs can keep you dry for a year – without having to look bulky in adult underwear or diapers.
For women that desire less intrusive incontinence solutions, we recommend opting for our incontinence panties and incontinence bed pads. The researchers of the Duke University study will need to follow their 381 participants for two more years in order to obtain exact data on which solution is most cost effective, however, we here at Wearever already have the data in! If you’re looking for ways to manage your urinary incontinence, you can’t find a lower-prices product than Wearever brand incontinence underwear.