Purpose of review
In recent years, sacral neuromodulation (SNM) has been investigated for the treatment of various types of lower urinary tract and bowel dysfunctions. This review discusses recently published data related to the therapeutic applications of SNM in female lower urinary tract, pelvic floor, and bowel disorders.
SNM has been employed initially in the treatment of refractory idiopathic overactive bladder, urge urinary incontinence, and chronic nonobstructive urinary retention. Since then, several studies, including randomized and controlled trials, have confirmed the therapeutic effects of SNM in these disorders. The applications of SNM are now extended to the treatment of other female pelvic problems, such as fecal incontinence, chronic constipation, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, sexual dysfunction, and neurogenic disorders, with similar promising results.
SNM is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of idiopathic overactive bladder, urge urinary incontinence, and chronic nonobstructive urinary retention. SNM is not yet an approved method for the treatment of other pelvic disorders, but data supporting its benefit are emerging. The major advantage of SNM lies in its potential to treat the bladder, urethral sphincter, anal sphincters, and pelvic floor muscles simultaneously, which might result in better therapeutic effects.