Botox for Urinary Incontinence

Many patients who suffer from bladder leakage as a result of overactive bladder muscles are able to regain control once again thanks to the temporary muscle relaxing effects of Botulinum A toxin.

When administered by a board-certified urologist, Botox can help patients overcome the embarrassment, inconvenience, and health risks of urge urinary incontinence with just a series of injections. The team at Comprehensive Urology are highly trained and experienced in female urinary incontinence treatment with the latest and most effective treatment options available and strive to help each and every patient find the control, independence, and confidence they deserve once again.

How Does Botox Treat Urinary Incontinence?

Botox is a neuromodulator, which means that it can safely block nerve communication between the nerves and the bladder muscles (detrusor muscle) for a series of months without damaging the nerve tissue. When used to block nerve signals to the detrusor muscle, Botox can effectively eliminate bladder spasms that may cause urinary leakage or the sudden urge to urinate without any warning.

Overactive bladder or bladder spasticity often occurs in older women, or women who may have suffered nerve damage as a result of childbirth or trauma. Botox can provide 6 to 8 months of relief and may be re-injected once the effects have worn off and have proven to be successful as a female incontinence treatment. An additional benefit of detrusor muscle Botox injections is that female urinary incontinence patients typically experience an increase in bladder capacity once the muscles no longer spasm or contract involuntarily.

What is the Bladder Botox Procedure?

Botox bladder treatments for urinary incontinence can be safely performed as an outpatient procedure in which the urologist will insert a catheter through the urethra to reach the bladder. A local anesthetic will be flushed into the bladder to help prevent discomfort. A cystoscope (a scope to visualize the inside of the bladder) is then passed into the bladder where several injections are strategically placed into the detrusor muscle to effectively decrease muscle contractions. Patients will not experience the benefits of Botox injections until at least a week after the treatment, and full results may take up to 2 weeks.

As an outpatient procedure for urge urinary incontinence, patients can typically return home the same day as the injections and may return to normal activities. It is not uncommon for women to notice blood in their urine (hematuria) a day or two after the injections, however, the side effect should disappear on its own.

What are the Risks of Botox for Bladder Issues?

Botox is clinically proven to be effective at treating the symptoms of overactive bladder and other causes of urinary incontinence in women; however, as with any medical procedure, there is a degree of risk. Fortunately, the side effects of bladder Botox are rare and relatively minor, but may include:

  • Difficulty completely emptying bladder
  • Urinary retention
  • Use of catheter during the first few weeks to fully empty bladder
  • Increased risk of infection

While these risks are rare, it is important to only undergo female urinary incontinence treatment from a highly experienced urologist who is experienced at treating urological issues.

Am I Eligible for Bladder Botox?

Botox injections are FDA approved for patients who have had little to no success treating urge urinary incontinence with traditional or conservative methods. Behavioral interventions or oral medications are the first and second line of treatment for overactive bladder. Botox may be an ideal treatment option for patients who:

  • Are comfortable with self-catheterization (which may be necessary for a short period)
  • Experience bladder leakage as a result of involuntary muscle spasms
  • Urinate eight or more times a day; or two or more times a night
  • Have had no success with non-medical treatments, such as bladder training or fluid management
  • Have suffered a neurological condition that impacts bladder control, such as multiple sclerosis

If you or someone you care about may be a candidate for Botox, the results are typically dramatic and may result in improved urinary function even after the effect of the injections have worn off. The American Urological Association has even reported that patients may experience up to a 50 percent drop in daily urinary incontinence incidents, which can be significant for those suffering with urge urinary incontinence.

Who is Not Eligible for Botox for Incontinence?

Botox bladder injections are not recommended for patients who suffer from certain neuromuscular diseases, such as myasthenia gravis, or are currently undergoing treatments that block the neuromuscular junction, which may result in widespread or prolonged muscle weakness. The injections are also not beneficial for patients who suffer from stress urinary incontinence or cannot empty their bladder on their own. Patients who are currently suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) will have to wait until the infection has fully cleared before undergoing the Botox procedure for urge urinary incontinence.

If you are a patient struggling with controlling your bladder on a daily basis and lifestyle adjustments or medication haven’t been effective, you may find the relief you need from urinary incontinence with the InterStim system. InterStim is a medical device used for sacral nerve stimulation, which allows you to control your bladder function more effectively. The InterStim system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because it has helped millions of patients across the world.

To learn more about InterStim and whether it is an ideal treatment option for your female urinary incontinence, please do not hesitate to contact the skilled, compassionate urologists at Comprehensive Urology in Beverly Hills. Our team understands how difficult and frustrating incontinence can be, and we are dedicated to helping each and every patient find the best incontinence treatment solution available. Call us at (310) 499-2756 or make an appointment online.


Will Botox actually help reduce or eliminate my overactive bladder symptoms?

Yes. In fact, clinical trials of patients who were dealing with overactive bladder symptoms revealed Botox provided up to six months of overactive bladder symptom improvement.

How long does it take to see results of a Botox treatment?

Most patients see the results of a Botox treatments within two weeks.

Is a single Botox treatment sufficient to address my overactive bladder symptoms?

A urologist develops a Botox treatment schedule based on an individual and his or her condition. Generally, patients will need to schedule Botox re-treatments approximately every six months. Patients should also wait at least three months between Botox injections.

How long does it take to complete a Botox treatment?

It may take as little as one hour to conduct an entire Botox procedure. Typically, a urologist needs about 20 minutes to prepare a patient for a Botox treatment, 10 minutes to administer Botox injections, and 30 minutes to evaluate a patient after treatment.

How is Botox administered?

Botox is injected into the bladder muscle. Initially, a urologist flushes the bladder with local anesthesia administered via a catheter. The local anesthesia numbs the bladder. Next, a cystoscope is moved from the urethra into the bladder. Finally, a small needle is inserted into the cystoscope that is used to administer a series of Botox injections into the bladder.

Is a Botox treatment painful?

A Botox treatment is designed to help a patient minimize pain. Usually, patients do not experience pain after a Botox treatment.

In some cases, Botox patients may experience pain in the first few times after they urinate. Patients also may notice blood in their urine immediately following a Botox treatment.

Can Botox cause a UTI?

Those who are dealing with a UTI should not undergo Botox for overactive bladder. Meanwhile, a urologist provides a patient with an antibiotic before Botox is administered to reduce the risk of a UTI. Additionally, a urologist prescribes medication to help a patient reduce the risk of UTI after a Botox treatment.

Is Botox right for me?

The answer to this question varies based on the individual. Fortunately, a urologist is happy to meet with a patient, learn about his or her overactive bladder symptoms, and perform a full patient evaluation. That way, a urologist can determine if Botox is the right treatment option.

If a urologist finds that Botox may help a patient alleviate overactive bladder symptoms, he or she will outline all aspects of the procedure to a patient. A urologist will also respond to a patient’s Botox concerns and questions to help this individual make an informed treatment decision.

Comparatively, if the potential risks of Botox outweigh the potential benefits for a patient, a urologist will provide overactive bladder treatment alternatives. A urologist’s goal is to ensure a patient can treat his or her overactive bladder symptoms for years to come. To accomplish this goal, a urologist may recommend Botox or other overactive bladder treatments tailored to a patient’s condition.

Professional Advice from a Los Angeles Urologist

Whether you are considering nonsurgical or surgical treatment to cure urinary incontinence, it is best to consult with an experienced incontinence doctor. The team of board-certified urologists at Comprehensive Urology will carefully examine your present condition and help you decide which incontinence treatment method is best for you.

Schedule an appointment by calling (310) 499-2756.

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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.