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Botox for Incontinence: Does It Help?

Can I start this post by saying that I love my job? Since I started Cheeky Wipes back in 2008 with our reusable wipes kit, EVERY day has been a school day.

Mostly, that's because I learn from interacting with you, our lovely customers and the subject of this blog post is no exception.

On a recent facebook post for our reusable incontinence products, we had comments from a lady recommending Botox rather than suffer with ongoing leaks.

She went on to explain that she had suffered from an overactive bladder for many years which made her life a misery.

Having botox injections was the only treatment that had worked for her.

Botox for incontinence

She urged others to step away from our fantastic reusable pads and womens incontinence products and ask their GP about Botox.

We have ALWAYS supported seeking professional advice. We would much rather you fix your incontinence (if possible) than rely on our reusable incontinence products.

I hadn't heard of Botox for incontinence before. So I decided to do some research to help answer:


Does Botox Help Incontinence?

Yes, Botox can be helpful for incontinence, specifically urge incontinence and overactive bladder.

Research suggests that Botox can help incontinence when other methods of intervention such as physio and medication have failed.

When referred by your GP, a specialist Physio is usually the first treatment option. In many cases, doing your kegel exercises will help bladder control.

Medication for sudden urge incontinence is the next step.

According to University Hospital Southampton, 75% of women who have botox for overactive bladder have a reduction in their symptoms.

Fearless Reusable Incontinence Pants

How Does Bladder Botox Work?

Bladder Botox works by having small injections of botulinum toxin (botox) into the bladder wall muscle under local anesthetic. The botox stops the bladder wall from squeezing too much and the spasms which cause overactive bladder, making the muscles relax.

The treatment reduces the 'urge' to go suddenly.

Having bladder botox is quick and usually painless due to the anaesthetic used. It may be a bit uncomfortable, but the whole procedure only lasts around 5 to 10 minutes, so very bearable.

Most women will go home within a couple of hours and can be back to work the next day.

The injections can take between 3 or 4 days or up to 2 weeks to make an impact on your incontinence. However the effects will last between 6 and 9 months before needing a top up.

"Black boxer shorts for either periods or bladder trouble: soft, silky fabric, very absorbent, extremely comfortable to wear, thoroughly recommended. The padding runs right round to the back waistband, so great for overnight wearing." Susan via Trustpilot

Minivivi Reusable Incontinence Pads

Benefits of Bladder Botox

The expected benefits of bladder Botox injections include: 

  1. Reduction or elimination of urinary incontinence
  2. Reduction in how often you need to urinate
  3. Better sleep is a positive effect of botox is one of the few treatments which works at night
  4. Improvement to overall quality of life

"I've been using Cheeky Wipes Knickers for a while now and I really couldn't be without them. I do suffer with quite heavy periods and a leaky bladder, they are perfect for what I need.
I was getting so fed up with pads and the way they kept irritating me, and the cost! Only to then throw away!  But having these knickers now has changed things for the better."
Justine via Trustpilot

What are the side effects of Bladder Botox?

The side effects of bladder botox include:

  • difficulty in emptying your bladder
  • urinary retention
  • urinary tract infection (uti)

These side effects can occur in around 1 in 20 women and can occur immediately or take a few weeks to become apparent. In some instances these problems can last until the botox wears off, which could be 6 to 9 months.

Should this problem be severe, you would need to self catheterise to remove urine from the bladder. This involves disposable self catheters, rather than a bag which stays all the time. Whilst this is unlikely, it is possible so definitely something to consider when you're weighing up your options.

We hope this article has been useful. If it inspires you to see your Doctor about treatment rather than just putting up with it, please do let us know!

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About the author: Helen Rankin is a Mum of 4, who founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. She went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable sanitary pads, cloth nappies and finally mens incontinence products and incontinence accessories

The Cheeky customer services team love helping educate customers to make the switch to reusables.  They just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.