27/08/2015 10:52 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Botox For The Bladder: 'Miracle Treatment' Wrinkles Out Incontinence Issues


When Maree Whittaker's doctor suggested she get Botox, the 66-year-old was more than a little taken aback.

"You hear 'Botox' and you think about wrinkles in the face," she said.

"I thought she was joking but then she said 'I'm not suggesting it for your face, I'm talking about somewhere else'."

Whittaker's doctor is championing the use of Botox for overactive bladders.

Botox isn't just for cosmetic enhancement. Picture: Getty

Dr Jenny King is Director of the Pelvic Floor Unit at Westmead Hospital and said three million Australian men and women had overactive bladders, which caused potentially embarrassing incontinence.

"This isn't leakage when you sneeze or jump -- it's a bladder gone crazy," King said.

"Basically these women's bladders will contract and empty wherever and whenever it feels like it.

"The sad thing is that it often makes people withdraw. They don't want to go outside or stay overnight with family."

King said the Botox, a toxin that paralyses signals between nerves and muscles, was injected into the bladder muscle which stopped the contractions for about six to nine months, when the process was repeated.

For Whittaker, the procedure was life changing.

"I've had problems for 30 years but I thought I was the only one," Whittaker said.

"It's embarrassing because you completely lose control of your bladder. It makes you not want to go outside or do anything.

"No one talks about it but I have to because people need to know they can have this treatment and get fixed."