Electrical stimulation is used to treat urinary incontinence by sending a mild electric current to nerves in the lower back or the pelvic muscles that are involved in urination.
You may be able to provide electrical stimulation therapy at home using a unit with a vaginal or anal electrode. Timing and duration of therapy varies. For example, your treatment may consist of 12 weeks during which you have 15-minute stimulation sessions twice a day. This kind of stimulation has been used for both urge and stress incontinence.
The mechanism of vaginal or anal electrical stimulation is not well understood. The stimulation may make the muscles contract, producing an effect similar to Kegel exercises that will strengthen the muscles by contracting them frequently. The stimulation may also encourage the growth of nerve cells that cause the muscles to contract.
Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) has been used for severe urge incontinence or overactive bladder that hasn’t been helped by other treatment. In SNS, the doctor puts an electrical stimulator under your skin above your buttocks. It is attached to electrodes that send pulses to a nerve in your lower back (sacrum). The sacral nerve plays a role in bladder storage and emptying