What is Sacral Neuromodulation for Overactive Bladder?

September 1, 2023

Getting up to pee a wee bit too much? 

You’re not alone. And what’s more, you’re not too far away from sensible, outpatient solutions! 

No, we don’t mean meditation —we’re talking sacral neuromodulation to stop that ‘gotta go’ sensation. 

Let’s talk about your sacral nerves. 

You have five pairs of these nerves poking past your sacrum (the snake head shaped bone right before your tailbone) connecting your brain to the lower parts of your body. This regulates the sensations of everything below your navel.

When the electrical pulses that govern sensations going to the brain get their wires crossed with these nerves, you get that too-frequent ‘bathroom now‘ feeling, aka “overactive bladder.” Sacral neuromodulation for overactive bladder is the electrical manipulation of these nerves to get you back on track with reality.

So how does sacral neuromodulation work? 

Most of us have heard of acupuncture. But here’s a breakdown of how and why it can be effective. Tiny needles are placed in the skin based on bodily meridians, which we now know correspond to your neural network. By stimulating a nerve, a skilled practitioner can elicit a certain response. Sacral nerve modulation is much like acupuncture, but the nerve stimulation is fixed and is always engaged.  Sacral Neuromodulation is used to help restore healthy communication between the brain, bladder and bowel.

Different forms of nerve implants have been around for about 60 years, but recently Axonics has released a smaller, less complicated nerve stimulator that can stay in place for over a decade. Axonics sacral neuromodulation is best for patients experiencing urinary frequency, urgency, nocturia (urinating after you go to bed), and even stool incontinence.

Do you need to get the implant right away? 

No way! 

We offer a non-invasive trial to determine if surgery is necessary.  I like to say you get to “try it before you buy it!”

If you would like to see if a test run of Axonics sacral neuromodulation is right for your bathroom blues, contact us to set up an appointment today!