Can Acupuncture Treat Male Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a troubling medical condition that can disturb a person's sleep, lower their self-esteem and negatively affect their overall quality of life. While most common in women, men can develop it as well. According to Health.com, roughly 5 million men suffer from urinary incontinence. Acupuncture, however, has become an increasingly popular treatment option for male urinary incontinence. So, how does acupuncture work, and is it really effective at treating this condition?
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of alternative Eastern medicine that involves placing thin needles into the skin at various areas of the body. A practitioner, known as an acupuncturist, places the needles into one of more than 400 points of the client's body. Each of these points has a different effect. Therefore, an acupuncturist must diagnose the client's illness before conducting this minimally invasive procedure. Acupuncture points around the bladder and kidney, for example, are often used to treat incontinence and other urinary health conditions.
The general belief is that placing thin needles into the skin triggers the body's self-healing mechanism. When you receive acupuncture treatment, your body identifies the needle piercings as injuries. Each time you are poked, your body believes it's being injured. Granted, the needles are thin and placed vary shallow into the skin, so the procedure causes little or no pain. Nonetheless, it's still a form of physical injury, which serves as a catalyst for your body's self-healing mechanism.
Does Acupuncture Work for Male Incontinence?
The jury is still out, but some research suggests that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for male incontinence. According to Mayo Clinic, studies show that acupuncture offers short-term benefits of urinary incontinence. The medical website stresses, however, that more research is needed before any conclusive statements can be made regarding its effectiveness. Other research cited here reinforces the belief that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for male urinary incontinence.
Other Ways to Treat Incontinence
Of course, acupuncture is only one treatment option to consider if you suffer from incontinence. The Wiesner Incontinence Clamp, for instance, is a an externally worn device that compresses the urethra, preventing the flow of urine. It's simple, easy to use and highly effective at combating urinary incontinence.
There are also medications available for treating urinary incontinence, some of which include fesoterodine and oxybutynin. Unfortunately, most of these medications carry some unwanted side effects as well as risk of complication. Furthermore, many people who take these medications experience no change in their incontinence.
Whether acupuncture is effective at treating male urinary incontinence remains to be seen. But there are other, more sound treatment options already available, including the Wiesner Incontinence Clamp.