Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Women With Overactive Bladder With Urgency Incontinence

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Southern California
Updated on 15 August 2022
overactive bladder
urinary urgency


Overactive bladder (OAB) affects an estimated 16-30% of women in the US and urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) affects 7-11% of women with OAB. It is known that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the supplementary motor area (SMA) can modulate the pelvic floor muscle activity with potential benefits for various urologic conditions. The goal of this study is to assess feasibility of rTMS as a treatment option for OAB with UUI by determining which rTMS frequency is most effective in targeting sensory components of OAB, namely urinary urgency, and also in targeting the brain network known to be involved in OAB.


Eligible participants with OAB and UUI will undergo resting state functional MRI of the brain to map baseline brain activity. Participants will then undergo rTMS of the SMA with electromyography (EMG) monitoring of the pelvic floor muscles. They will then undergo another MRI to assess and changes in brain activity due to rTMS. Participants will be asked about their bladder symptoms over the course of the study.

The study will have a crossover design. The investigators plan to recruit 10 women with symptoms of OAB and UUI. During the first week, participants will be screened, asked to fill out a bladder questionnaire, and to complete a bladder diary. During the next two weeks, participants will undergo rTMS and functional MRI of the brain to assess brain activity.

All participants will undergo two different known rTMS protocols for the pelvic floor, high-frequency and low-frequency, separated by a 1-week washout period. Each participant will be randomized to which protocol they will have first. In total, 5 participants will have started with high-frequency rTMS first and 5 participants will have started with low-frequency rTMS. At the end, all participants will have undergone both high- and low-frequency rTMS.

The primary objective of the study is to assess the feasibility of rTMS in patients with OAB and UUI, which will be assessed with recruitment and retention rates of participants. The investigators also aim to determine if SMA activity mediates OAB symptoms and pelvic floor muscle tone using functional MRI of the brain. Finally, the investigators want to assess bladder symptoms following rTMS using participant questionnaires and number of UUI episodes.

Condition Urge Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, Bladder Disorders, Urinary Incontinence, bladder disorder
Treatment Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05099419
SponsorUniversity of Southern California
Last Modified on15 August 2022

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