When women first start to experience bladder leakage, often the first option they look at is liners or pads. Many women feel they can manage their day-to-day bladder leakage with liners, pads, disposable or reusable underwear. While pads do provide some degree of protection and discreet management, they do not try to improve your bladder function, unlike other treatment options.
Before or in conjunction with other treatment options, a specialist will often suggest lifestyle changes to help decrease bladder leakage:
Bladder leakage in stress urinary incontinence is most often due to the weakening of the pelvic muscles and tissue that normally support the bladder14, actively strengthening the pelvic muscles may help lessen your symptoms.16
A pessary is a small plastic device that is inserted into the vagina to help support the vaginal walls and provide lift to the bladder and urethra. Pessaries are available in a variety of sizes. Your provider will provide instructions on inserting and removing the device.9 To ensure you receive a pessary that is fitted correctly, it’s important to see a specialist who can provide guidance on what size is right for your body.17
While there are [prescription] medications that can help reduce the symptoms of bladder leakage, medication currently only treats urge urinary Incontinence and overactive bladder.9 If you are suffering from mixed urinary incontinence (a combination of stress and urge incontinence), you may benefit from using medication for urge incontinence. However, you may need additional treatments to decrease bladder leakage related to stress urinary incontinence.