MHRA: Government investigating whether drug should become available without prescription

This Morning: Ferne McCann opens up about incontinence

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Speaking on the move the MHRA’s Dr Laura Squire said: “For many women, an overactive bladder can make day-to-day living extremely challenging.

“It can impact on relationships, on work, on social life, and it can lead to anxiety and depression. Fortunately, here are treatments around, and from today you will have a chance to have your say on whether one of those treatments can be available for the first time without prescription.”

Meanwhile, Maria Caulfield, Minister for Women’s Health added: “When it comes to sensitive issues such as bladder control, speaking to a GP may act as a barrier for some women to seek help.

“Reclassification of Aquiette would enable women to access vital medication without needing a prescription”.

An overactive bladder is not the only type of incontinence condition.

Other forms of the condition include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, and total incontinence.

Furthermore, it is also possible to have a mixture of different types of incontinences.

In all cases, each can cause embarrassment for the individual with the condition.

However, there are treatments and ways people can ease the symptoms of each form of incontinence.

For example, the NHS recommends lifestyle changes including:
• Reducing caffeine intake
• Altering daily fluid intake
• Losing weight.

Other non-surgical treatments are pelvic floor muscle and bladder training, electrical stimulation, biofeedback, and vaginal cones.

The pelvic floor is crucial to the urinating process as the muscles “surround the bladder and urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body) and control the flow of urine as you pee” said the NHS.

As a result, the stronger these muscles are, the better able an individual will be able to control the flow of urine.

Studies have shown this form of training helps those with a form of incontinence.

Meanwhile, electrical stimulation is also another method of easing the condition.

During the procedure, a small probe is inserted into the anus or vagina, and an electrical current is run through the probe so the muscles can be strengthened while the person in question is exercising them.

Although the idea of this procedure may be unpleasant the NHS says “it may be beneficial if you’re unable to complete pelvic floor muscle contractions without it”.

A less invasive technique is bladder training whereby a person learns to increase the length of time between feeling the need to urinate and urinating.

More information about incontinence treatments and conditions is available on the NHS website.

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