Botox has become a household name; however, it holds still another claim to fame, which is not quite as well known. For anyone suffering from urge incontinence, Botox has been a saving grace. It essentially paralyzes the area where it is injected, and it can effectively eliminate any urge incontinence symptoms.
Botox can now be used to treat bladder control problems in certain patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Allergan’s popular wrinkle treatment for use in patients with an overactive bladder caused by spinal cord injuries or other neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis. Botox is thought to relax the bladder while also allowing it to store more urine, which helps prevent leakage.
The reason that Botox works for urge incontinence is that this type of incontinence is caused by an overactive bladder, which makes a person feel a violent and immediate need to urinate. The overactive bladder goes into spasms, and these spasm contractions are the cause of urge incontinence. The sensation is very unpleasant, and frequently if the person does not go to the bathroom right away, they will have an incontinence episode. While bladder retraining is one of the more conventional ways of treating urge incontinence, when this simple technique proves ineffective, sometimes medication or surgery is suggested.
Using Botox to quiet the bladder spasms has proven to be a very effective treatment for urge incontinence. It is injected directly into the bladder muscle, quieting the spasms, which in turn alleviates the need to go to the bathroom so often. Unfortunately, just like with facial wrinkles, Botox is not a permanent cure for urge incontinence. Its effects usually dissipate after a few months, and the urge incontinence returns begging another Botox shot for relief of symptoms. There have been studies that indicate that Botox has contributed to a more permanent reduction in symptoms in some incontinence sufferers. There is a lot of interest around the viability of Botox both as a short term solution and a long term solution for incontinence.