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What is urinary incontinence or (UI)?

A person who is affected by urinary incontinence (UI) loses control of their urinary sphincter — made up of the two muscles, which control the passage of urine into the bladder — causing involuntary leakage of urine. UI is a symptom of other conditions rather than a medical condition in its own right. People develop UI for a variety of reasons. It is often associated with conditions which affect older people, such as prostate problems in males and menopause in females.

Treatment for urinary incontinence

UI can be treated or managed successfully through a variety of treatment options, including:

  • Non-surgical options, including using absorbent products, undertaking exercise programmes such as Kegel exercises, behavioral treatments and non-surgical procedures, such as botox injections or electrical nerve stimulation and medications.
  • Laser treatment: This is a fairly new treatment for UI. It makes use of an erbium‐doped yttrium‐aluminum‐garnet (Er:YAG) laser, which has previously been used successfully in the field of plastic skin reconstruction. This technique has principally been used to treat UI in women. The Er:YAG laser is applied to the supportive tissues in the pelvic area to tighten them. This has been found to effectively treat stress urinary incontinence, with effects lasting up to one year. Laser treatment for UI has not been found effective for other types of urinary incontinence, however.
  • Botox: It is possible to strengthen and rejuvenate the muscles in the urinary system with the use of botox injections (intradetrusor botulinum toxin). Although this is not a first-line treatment for UI, it may be prescribed as an alternative if a person with urge incontinence does not find relief using oral medication.