If lifestyle and conservative management do not 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 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:
Botox injection is usually an outpatient procedure conducted under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. However, based on your health needs, it may be performed as an outpatient procedure in an operating room.
After the procedure, you will be followed to ensure you are able to urinate. If you are unable to urinate (urinary retention) then the doctor may talk to you about the use of a catheter to empty your bladder at home.