If lifestyle and behavioral treatments don’t work for women with overactive bladder (OAB), another option may be an injection of onabotulinumtoxinA, or Botox. Botox is a powerful neurotoxin. It works by paralyzing the bladder muscle and decreasing sensitivity to nerve fibers.
Botox injections are not for every woman. You and your doctor need to weigh the severity of your symptoms and other health conditions. For example, Botox may be a high-risk treatment option for women with dysphagia, neuromuscular disorders, and certain respiratory disorders. At this time Botox is not recommended for pregnant women. Breastfeeding women are advised to use with caution.
If you are a candidate for Botox, the injections pose some risks, including:
- Postprocedure urinary retention
- Urinary tract infections
- Transient body weakness.
As well as experience treating women with pelvic floor disorders, select a health care provider who has training in administering Botox injections in the bladder and pelvic floor region. In addition, choice a doctor who has experience with treating any problems which may result from injecting Botox into the bladder.
Botox injection is usually an outpatient procedure conducted under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. However, based on your health needs, your doctor may perform it as an outpatient procedure in an operating room.
Before injecting the Botox, your doctor may perform a cystoscopy. Next, a series of Botox shots are injected in the bladder.
After the procedure, you will remain for a period of observation to check your ability to void. If you are unable to go (urinary retention), the doctor may instruct you on the use of a catheter to empty your bladder at home.