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Medtronic Therapy


About Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a treatable condition. It’s not a normal part of aging, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it on your own. Bladder control problems affect tens of millions of people every day.

If you’re one of them, you should speak up. Understand the possible causes of your symptoms and discover therapies that may help you take back control.

  • OAB is extremely common
  • 1 in 6 adults have OAB, or 43 million adults in the U.S.
  • 4.5 out of 10 adults don't seek help for OAB

Overactive bladder symptoms

If you're experiencing the symptoms of common bladder control problems, it's time to see a bladder incontinence specialist to confirm your diagnosis.

Urge incontinence

  • Urinating before you reach the bathroom
  • Experiencing frequent leaks
  • Using pads or protective garments


  • Frequent, uncontrollable urge to go
  • Going more than 8 times a day
  • Feeling like your bladder is never empty

Urinary retention

  • Can't tell if your bladder is full
  • Holding increasingly large amounts of urine
  • Weak or dribbling stream
  • Needing to use a catheter

What is Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is defined as the inability to completely or partially empty the bladder. You may be unable to start urination, or if you are able to start, you can’t fully empty your bladder.

There are two general types of urinary retention: obstructive and non-obstructive. If there is an obstruction (for example, kidney stones), urine cannot flow freely through the urinary tract.

Non-obstructive causes include a weak bladder muscle and nerve problems that interfere with signals between the brain and the bladder. If the nerves aren’t working properly, the brain may not get the message that the bladder is full.

Please note: InterStim™ is not indicated for Obstructive Retention

Side angle photo of a doctor talking with a senior couple at the hospital

Treatment pathway

There are many ways to manage bladder control problems. Talking to your healthcare provider about your bothersome bladder or bowel symptoms can be uncomfortable, but you deserve long-lasting relief. Remember, if you have not experienced the symptom relief you want, more options are available.


Start by speaking with a healthcare provider. You may be asked to fill out a symptom tracker. This symptom tracker will help you and your healthcare provider have a meaningful conversation about your symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

Conservative treatments may help, and while they don't work for everyone, they may be the solution you need.

  • Diet and exercice
  • Bladder retraining
  • Pelvic floor strengthening


When lifestyle changes don't deliver the results you want, oral medications may be the next step. These medications can help control symptoms but may have side effects.

Advanced therapies

When exercises, lifestyle changes, and medications disappoint, you may be ready for a more advanced option giving you the long-lasting relief you deserve.

The InterStim™ System

The InterStim™ system is a small, implantable device that targets the sacral nerves that control your bladder and bowel. It may help restore normal bladder or bowel function — giving you the long-lasting relief you deserve.

  • Safe and minimally invasive 
  • Greater effectiveness than medication alone
  • 82% success rate at five years for OAB patients
  • More than 375,000 patients worldwide with long-lasting relief
Photo of the InterStim devices

How the InterStim™ System Works?

Evidence suggests that breakdowns in the bladder-brain communication pathway may be a root cause of OAB and non-obstructive urinary retention. That's why conventional treatments may not produce the results you want - they don't directly target this miscommunication. Unlike conventional treatments, the Medtronic InterStim systems gently stimulate the sacral nerves in the pelvic area that control the bladder.

With the InterStim™ system, you can try the therapy for about a week before you decide whether or not to have a device implanted for long-term care.

The NURO™ System

A nonsurgical therapy for bladder control

The NURO™ device administers a therapy called percutaneous tibial neurostimulation (PTNM). Rather than a long-term implant, this device uses acupuncture-like needle to stimulate the nerves that control bladder function.

  • Does not require surgery
  • Used to treat symptoms of overactive bladder
  • Delivered during 30-minute sessions once per week for 12 weeks
  • May require follow-up visits for therapeutic maintenance
  • No unpleasant side effects like oral medications
Photo of the Nuro device by Medtronic

How the NURO™ PTNM system works?

Treatment with the NURO™ system involves a series of 30-minute office appointments:

  1. Your provider will gently place shallow acupuncture-like needle near the tibial nerve near the ankle.
  2. Mild electrical pulses from the device are sent through the needle, targeting the nerve to help you regain control of your bladder. It doesn't hurt, but you may feel tingling.
  3. The doctor removes the needle before you leave.

Evidence suggests that bladder control problems may be caused by miscommunication between the bladder and the brain.2-4 The tibial nerve connects to nerves responsible for bladder function. Download the PTNM therapy guide to learn more.

Clinical evidence

Clinical studies show that Medtronic bladder control therapy by the NURO™ system is an effective treatment for people with overactive bladder (OAB).

  • Nearly 4 out of 5 patients saw their urinary urge incontinence episodes cut in half after 12 weeks.
  • Approximately 70% reduction in episodes of incontinence per day after completing the first 12 weekly sessions.
  • 40% of OAB patients became fully continent.
  • Significant improvement in health-related quality of life
  • Improvements trended as patients completed more sessions and they had the best results when finishing all 12 sessions.
Photo of a patient during a session of the NURO system

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