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Incontinence Underwear

How to Move Beyond Incontinence Underwear: Treatment Options for Females

Incontinence is a common issue that many women grapple with, often in silence. It refers to the involuntary leakage of urine, a condition that can range from mild, occasional dribbling to complete urine loss. Regardless of the severity, it can be distressing and embarrassing. But don’t think the only option is to wear incontinence underwear for the rest of your life. There are many effective treatment options available.

Types of Incontinence

When it comes to incontinence, there are a few different types:

Stress Incontinence

If you have found yourself leaking a little urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or exercise, that’s called stress incontinence. It happens when pressure is exerted on your bladder, causing it to release urine involuntarily. This type is quite common, especially among women who have given birth.

Urge Incontinence

If you suddenly feel an intense, overwhelming need to urinate and lose some urine before you can make it to the bathroom, this is known as urge incontinence. It’s often described as feeling like you need to go right now, with little warning.

Mixed Incontinence

Sometimes, you might experience a combination of both stress and urge incontinence. This is referred to as mixed incontinence. For instance, you might leak when you sneeze and also feel sudden, strong urges to urinate.

Options for Incontinence Management

Many women begin managing symptoms with incontinence underwear or briefs. These products are designed to absorb leaks and protect clothing. They can be either washable or disposable.

However, while incontinence underwear offers a temporary and practical solution, they are not a long-term answer. They can be bulky, uncomfortable, and often lead to a sense of dependency on such products for security and comfort.

Moving Beyond Incontinence Underwear

For those looking to move beyond incontinence underwear, several options can be explored:

Lifestyle Changes

The first line of defense in treating incontinence involves making lifestyle adjustments which include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight reduces pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Performing pelvic floor exercises known as Kegels, to strengthen the muscles that control urination.
  • Managing fluid intake by drinking the right amount, neither too much nor too little can help.
  • Making dietary changes to avoid bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol.
Bladder training

Bladder training involves learning to delay urination after you get the urge to go. This technique can help increase the time between bathroom trips and improve bladder control. Start by scheduling bathroom visits and gradually extend the time between them.


Several medications can help manage urinary incontinence.

  • Anticholinergics are commonly prescribed to calm an overactive bladder (OAB) and reduce urge incontinence.
  • Beta-3 agonists work by relaxing the bladder muscle, increasing the bladder’s capacity to hold urine.
  • Topical estrogen can be applied directly to the vaginal area to help strengthen the tissues and alleviate symptoms.
Minimally Invasive Procedures

For those whose symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes and medication, minimally invasive procedures offer another level of treatment.

  • Nerve stimulation (neuromodulation): Techniques like sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) or percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) involve stimulating nerves that control the bladder. These treatments can help reduce symptoms of overactive bladder and urge incontinence. Permanent implants, like Axonics and InterStim, make it easy to manage incontinence symptoms long-term.
  • Botox injections: Botox (botulinum toxin) injections into the bladder muscle can help ease overactivity and improve bladder control. This treatment is often used for urge incontinence when other treatments haven’t been effective.

In cases where stress incontinence is the primary concern, surgical procedures may be considered. Surgery may involve placing a small piece of mesh around the neck of the bladder or lifting and securing the bladder neck and urethra to provide better support and prevent leakage.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Living with incontinence can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to define your life. If you’re relying on incontinence underwear and are looking for more definitive solutions, it’s time to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. They can guide you through the treatment options to restore your comfort and confidence.

Don’t delay any further – call 843.347.2450 today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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