Regain Control of Your Bladder with Axonics

Regain Control of Your Bladder with Axonics

Frequent or sudden urges to urinate can affect your daily living due to the constant interruptions. When you feel as though your bladder controls you, rather than the other way around, you might start to isolate yourself from potentially embarrassing situations. 

You may have an overactive bladder (OAB). While OAB is a common issue, particularly with women past the age of menopause, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are treatments and strategies designed to help. 

At Southeast Urogyn, board-certified urogynecologists Robert Harris, MD, and Steven Speights, MD, frequently recommend Axonics® sacral neuromodulation therapy to our patients with OAB. 

Gentle stimulation of the nerves controlling bladder function can restore normal communication between bladder and brain, putting you back in control. 

What happens when you have OAB

Normally, nerves in and around your bladder send signals to your brain to monitor bladder fullness. When it’s full, nerve signals coordinate the muscle responses that release urine and expel it from your body. 

These nerve functions go awry when you have OAB. Involuntary muscle contractions create a sudden and strong urge to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full. This urge can be overwhelming, causing unwanted urine leakage. 

Causes of OAB

The hormonal changes of menopause can cause a wide range of issues for women, and while many of these are common, they can occur in unique combinations and intensities. Urinary incontinence and OAB are a problem for many. 

OAB often accompanies diabetes. Neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and stroke can also alter normal bladder function. Alcohol, caffeine, and some medications may trigger OAB conditions. Age and cognitive decline are perhaps the biggest risk factors for developing OAB. 

Axonics and sacral neuromodulation therapy

Stimulation of nerve tissue has long been used when chronic pain is an issue that doesn’t respond to other treatments such as pain medication or physical therapy. Nerve stimulation implants don’t stop pain, but they scramble the pain signals transmitted to the brain. 

Axonics works in a similar way. We implant a small neurotransmitter under your skin. It’s rechargeable, taking about one hour, once a month under normal conditions. The charger works wirelessly, and you control the neurotransmitter with a small remote that fits easily on a keychain. 

We place the implant during a minimally invasive office procedure. Its expected life is a minimum of 15 years. Better still, Axonics has a temporary device that helps to assure that the therapy works for you before you receive the permanent neurotransmitter. 

You don’t need to worry about other health care issues, since the implant doesn’t affect full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a common problem with implants that have some types of metal components. 

Axonics isn’t a solution for all urinary incontinence issues. If your problem is due to an obstruction, for instance, the Axonics system won’t help, because there are no involuntary muscle spasms. 

Nerves in the sacral region can also be responsible for fecal incontinence, so Axonics may be a solution there, too. 

Learn more about sacral neuromodulation therapy with Axonics by scheduling a consultation with us at Southeast Urogyn. Book an appointment by calling our Madison or Flowood, Mississippi, office. Don’t let OAB slow you down. Call today.

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