If your sleep is constantly interrupted by unintended trips to the bathroom, you may be one of the approximately one in three Americans who suffers from an overactive or “irritable” bladder. If you had no idea that this nightly inconvenience is an actual medical condition, then you probably also didn’t know that urologists can treat this condition. Here’s how urologists use a treatment called “percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation” to treat nighttime incontinence.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary release of urine. It can occur in both men and women at any age. Urinary incontinence becomes nighttime incontinence when a patient experiences excessive urination at night. Nighttime incontinence can occur in many ways, two of the most common are –
- Nocturnal Enuresis. More commonly known as bedwetting, nocturnal enuresis can occur during bedtime or even when you doze off. It is a common condition in young children, but when adults experience bedwetting, it may have underlying causes, such as stress or an untreated medical condition such as a urinary tract infection, urinary tract stones, an enlarged prostate or even Parkinson’s disease or diabetes.
- Nocturia occurs when you wake up frequently at night because of the need to urinate. This urge disrupts your sleep and can cause you to become sleep deprived. Nocturia can be caused by high fluid intake, bladder obstruction, medical conditions, or sleep disorders.
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS)
There are ways and treatments to prevent these nighttime interruptions, such as limiting your fluid intake prior to bedtime or practicing bladder training exercises. A medical treatment option for patients is percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). Also known as posterior labial nerve stimulation, PTNS is a minimally invasive form of neuromodulation treatment for an overactive bladder, urinary urgency, urge incontinence, and urinary frequency. PTNS is carried out to normalize or modulate the body’s release of urine, and the procedure is quite simple: your urologist inserts a tiny needle into the tibial nerve found in your leg. The needle is then connected to a neuromodulation device that sends electrical impulses to the posterior tibial nerve. These impulses travel to the tibial nerve going to the sacral nerve, which controls the bladder and pelvic floor muscles, reducing the need to urinate involuntarily.
Those undergoing PTNS can expect weekly treatments for about four months; each treatment lasts only about 30 minutes and can be performed in your urologist’s office. If symptoms recur, patients may return for maintenance treatment.
Neuromodulation Services in Arizona
Most people are embarrassed to mention incontinence, even to their doctors. But with treatment, incontinence can be reduced or eliminated. In Phoenix, Dr. Kashif Alvi is ready to help you achieve optimal urological health, and is an expert treating conditions in both men and women. If you are tired of being tired from nighttime incontinence, or have any other urological condition, call Dr. Alvi at Urologic Surgeons of Arizona today at (480) 409-5060 or request an appointment online.