Exercises To Relax Your Bladder Muscle
This can help decrease the urgency of the feeling when it comes. Some call these exercises “quick flicks”, because you quickly squeeze, then release the muscles in your pelvis several times. When you get that “gotta go” feeling, squeeze and then relax your pelvic floor muscles several times. This sends a message to your nervous system and back to your bladder to stop squeezing. As your bladder stops squeezing and starts relaxing, the urgent feeling starts to lessen. When you do this exercise, it helps to be still and relaxed, and concentrate just on the quick flicks.
Try these techniques and your symptoms should improve. Drugs, injections, and surgery are options down the road, but it’s best to avoid them, and many people can. So start by doing the things that are most natural!
Symptoms Of Oab Your Browser Does Not Support Html5 Audio Playback You May Download The Audio File Directly Here
Urgency: This is the main symptom of OAB. It is a strong need to urinate that can’t be ignored. This “gotta go” feeling makes people afraid that they’ll leak urine if they don’t find a bathroom right away. OAB may also cause:
- Incontinence : Sometimes OAB causes urine to leak out before getting to the bathroom. This is called “urgency incontinence.” Some people may leak just a few drops, while others can have a sudden gush.
- Urinate frequently: OAB may also cause people to go to the bathroom many times during the day. Experts say that “frequent urination” is when you have to go to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours.
- Wake up at night to urinate: OAB can wake a person from sleep to go to the bathroom more than once a night. This is called “nocturia” by health providers.
Some foods and drinks can bother the bladder. Caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, chocolate and very spicy foods may make OAB symptoms worse.
OAB does not cause pain. If you feel pain while urinating, you may have an infection. Please talk with your health care provider about pain.
Things You Can Do To Help Make A Diagnosis
To help diagnose your condition, your doctor may ask you to keep a bladder diary.
To do this, youll most likely fill out a chart that your doctor gives you. This chart typically has lines for different times of the day, and asks you to record:
- How often you urinate
- The amount of urine you pass
- What liquids you drink, and how much
- Any episodes of urgency to urinate
- Any accidental urine leakage
- What you were doing at the time in question
Your doctor will probably ask you to keep this diary for at least three days. These days may not need to be consecutive, and should ideally be days that are fairly typical in terms of your activities.
On days when youre keeping a diary, its advised that you measure each serving of beverages that you consume.
You should also measure how much you urinate. To do this, your doctor may give you a special urine collection device that sits under your toilet seat.
You should rinse this device with water after each use, and keep in next to your toilet or carry it with you, if youll be outside of your home.
If youre keeping a bladder diary before seeing your doctor, you can collect your urine in a paper cup and estimate the amount based on the size of the cup.
Read Also: How Long Is Bladder Surgery
It Doesnt Necessarily Happen When You Cough Sneeze Or Jump
You may think you dont have OAB because you dont leak when you sneeze or coughbut that isnt a symptom of OAB. Instead, stress incontinence is actually a different type of bladder issue caused by a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Leaking a few drops at a time can be a sign of stress urinary incontinence, when moving, coughing, sneezing, standing up, jumping and jogging put stress on the bladder to cause the leakage, Dr. Gregory says. But its possible to have both urgency incontinence, a symptom of OAB, and stress incontinence together. Some women have a disorder called mixed incontinence when leakage occurs with both urge and coughing/straining activity, Dr. Taylor says. It is important to discuss these concerns with a physician to tease out what is going on.
Talking To Your Partner About Your Overactive Bladder
Wondering how to talk to your partner about your overactive bladder? Read our tips for starting the incontinence conversation with poise and confidence.
Approach the subject head-on, rather than waiting for your partner to ask you about it. If youâve been behaving in a way thatâs out of character, the truth could come as a relief to your partner, who may have been struggling to understand whatâs going on.
Here are some more suggestions for how to talk to your loved ones about overactive bladders and how it impacts you and your lifestyle.
How do you start the conversation?Your partner may have noticed or commented on your frequent trips to the bathroom, or your reluctance to join in on certain activities, so this is a great place to start. For example, you could introduce the conversation by saying, âIâve been needing to go to the bathroom much more than I used toâthatâs why I have trouble enjoying my time in places like movie theaters or long car rides. Itâs difficult to get to the bathroom in places like that.â This will help you explain your change in behavior, while letting your partner know how a sensitive bladder is affecting you.
Go Slow so They Can Take Time to Understand itAlthough your partner will most likely be supportive, itâs important to remember that they may have no idea what youâre going through or why. Tell them about your OAB symptoms and describe how theyâre affecting your life and relationship.
Don’t Miss: Is Amoxicillin Good For Bladder Infection
Overactive Bladder In Women: What Causes It And How Do You Treat It
Did you know that 40% of women in the United States struggle with an overactive bladder?
If youve been struggling with the combination of symptoms, such as waking up in the middle of the night to urinate or feeling a frequent urge to urinate, you may be wondering if you have an overactive bladder. There are many causes behind an overactive bladder, but understanding this medical condition is important for you to take the right steps to get treatment.
Thats why today, weve created this complete guide to help you understand what overactive bladder is, what symptoms are commonly associated with overactive bladder, and the common causes behind an overactive bladder. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is A Bladder Ultrasound
A bladder ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to produce images of the bladder. The test is not painful. However, a person may need to hold their urine so that the bladder is full for part of the scan, and this may be uncomfortable.
The American Urological Association notes that healthcare professionals primarily use bladder ultrasounds to see how the bladder is draining during urination. They measure the urine that remains in the bladder immediately after a person urinates. If urine remains, this can indicate an underlying problem, such as bladder dysfunction.
A bladder ultrasound can also provide information on the bladder wall and the pouches of the bladder, called the diverticula. In addition, it can reveal any stones or sizeable tumors in the bladder. In people with a prostate, the test will show the size of this gland.
Some types of ultrasounds will check the blood flow to and from the bladder.
2 hours before the test. This gives the bladder a chance to fill.
During a transabdominal ultrasound, a person will lie on their back on an exam table. A healthcare professional will then put a clear, water-based gel on the area of the persons skin over the lower abdomen or pelvis. They will use a handheld device called a transducer to scan the area.
As soon as the ultrasound is complete, a person can go back to their regular routine and tasks.
Doctors may use a transvaginal ultrasound to look at the thickness of the bladder walls in people with a vagina.
Certain Foods And Drinks Trigger Symptoms
Spicy or acidic foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine can all be irritants, so you might notice your overactive bladder symptoms getting worse after you consume them. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing more urine to be filtered through the kidneys, increasing subsequent urine production and the feeling of OAB, Dr. Taylor explains. Caffeine acts as both a diuretic and also makes the bladder more sensitive by lowering the threshold at which a bladder contraction will occur. Dr. Gregory says that some people just have a lower tolerance for certain foods that irritate the bladders lining. If you have that type of sensitivity, then a good strategy is to identify and avoid your trigger foods, he says. Culprits often include hot peppers, tomato sauce, wasabi and even cranberry juice.
Section : Research Needs And Future Directions
Figure 4: OAB Patient Groups
Epidemiology. Studies assessing how OAB develops and its natural history and progression are required. The timing and circumstances around which OAB develops and associated risk factors are not yet well-understood. While not specifically targeting epidemiology of OAB, there are large community-based studies that assess prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary incontinence.280, 281 By longitudinally studying these community cohorts, these investigators have developed a new hypothesis that lower urinary tract symptoms are likely related to other systemic diseases/conditions.282, 283 Continuation of these types of studies could lead to potential preventive interventions for OAB symptoms and/or utilization of treatments that target the associated systemic conditions rather than the bladder. Epidemiologic studies provide a better cross sectional estimation of the overall population impact of OAB-type symptoms.284
Clinical studies should use validated standardized measures to report subjective outcomes. Objective outcomes should include frequency, nocturia, urgency, incontinence episode frequency and reporting of the variance for each of these measures. Furthermore, the Guideline Panel’s meta-analytic efforts were hampered by lack of consistent reporting of variance information for baseline and post-treatment measurements.
Also Check: Treating Overactive Bladder In The Elderly
What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.
Seven Effective Treatments For Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder occurs when sudden or frequent urges to urinate become hard to control, and can often lead to leakage .
In order to best treat overactive bladder, a urologist must pinpoint the underlying cause. Treatment will depend on symptom severity and the degree to which they impact someone’s quality of life. In general, there are three approaches to treatment: medication, behavioral interventions, and surgery.
Don’t Miss: Vitamin D And Bladder Problems
Eat And Drink With Your Bladder In Mind:
Adopting a bladder-friendly diet will go a long way in easing the symptoms of an overactive bladder. This means avoiding foods that make your urine acidic because acid will further irritate your bladder. Do your best to saying no to caffeine, alcohol, citrus, carbonated beverages and spicy foods.
If you wake up a lot needing to go to the restroom, then make sure you are getting plenty of fluids during the day and limit drinking fluids closer towards before bedtime. This may help reduce the need to urinate frequently at night.
You Have To Go All The Time
Along with a sudden urge, you may feel like you have to urinate constantly. This happens for one of two reasons: Either the nerves that provide information about sensation receive, or think they receive, information about being full or irritated or the nerves that send signals to the muscle of the bladder are too active, and the muscle contracts, explains W. Thomas Gregory, MD, a urogynecologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Frequently means eight or more times during the day, or two or more times a night, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Make sure you avoid these common bathroom mistakes.
You May Like: Stress Incontinence Vs Overactive Bladder
You Dont Have Pain Burning Or Blood
Another way you can tell if its OAB or something else is whether you have pain, burning, or blood in your urine in addition to your other symptoms. Having to go all the time is a real pain, but it shouldnt actually hurt. If urinating causes pain, it could be a urinary tract infection, a sexually transmitted infection, bladder, or kidney stones. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor ASAP. If you dont have these symptoms, it could be OAB.
What Is Oab And Who Gets It Your Browser Does Not Support Html5 Audio Playback You May Download The Audio File Directly Here
Overactive bladder is the name for a group of bladder symptoms. There are three main symptoms:
- A feeling that you have to go to the bathroom, urgently.
- Sometimes incontinence, which means that you leak urine with the “gotta go” feeling.
- Usually the need to go to the bathroom often , day and night.
With OAB, you feel that you need to empty your bladder even when it’s not full. This leads to the feeling that you need a bathroom quickly, right now. You can’t control or ignore this feeling. If you “gotta go” eight or more times each day and night, or fear that urine will leak out before youre ready, you may have OAB.
OAB affects about 33 million Americans. It’s not a normal part of aging. It’s a health problem that can last for a long time if it’s not treated. Many older men and women struggle with OAB symptoms. Often people don’t know about treatments that can help, or they don’t ask for help.
Stress urinary incontinence or SUI is a different bladder problem. People with SUI leak urine while sneezing, laughing or being active. It is not the same as that sudden “gotta go” feeling from OAB. To learn more about SUI, go to .
In this guide you will find clear information about how to manage OAB. Please ask for help, even if you feel embarrassed. Don’t wait, because there are several treatments that work well for OAB. Your health care provider should be trained to talk with you and help you manage your symptoms without embarrassment.
Recommended Reading: How Do Doctors Test For Bladder Cancer
Youre Always Scoping Out Bathrooms
Studies have shown that overactive bladder symptoms can really affect your quality of life. You may become reluctant to be in public situations where youre unsure if there will be a bathroom readily available and when you are out and about, you might find yourself always on the lookout for a restroom. If you have any of the quality of life issuesknowing all the bathrooms, afraid to be in social settingsits time to talk with a doctor, Dr. Taylor says. Many OAB sufferers are often embarrassed to bring up the subject, but overactive bladder treatment is available, and there are completely natural remedies such as exercises and bladder retraining. If those dont work, there are medications and procedures as a next step. If you are changing the way you livenot seeing friends or family, not exercising or doing the things you likethen you should seek assistance, Dr. Gregory says. These problems can often be addressed and improved.
Overactive Bladder Testing And Treatment
Overactive Bladder TestingTo diagnose OAB and rule out other conditions, your doctor will do a physical exam and discuss your medical history. In addition, a urologist may order the following tests:
- Urinalysis: a sample of your urine to check for infection, blood or other abnormalities
- Urodynamic Testing: a series of tests to measure how well your bladder and urethra function
Overactive Bladder Treatment
There are many treatment options for overactive bladder. Most people who are treated see an improvement in their symptoms.
- Lifestyle Changes: Adjusting activities that make your OAB symptoms worse such as eating or drinking caffeine or acidic foods is the first step in treating OAB.
- Bladder Retraining: Through retraining, you learn to resist the urge to go and increase control over how much urine your bladder can hold. Your doctor can set up a retraining schedule for you.
- Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Working with a physical therapist or health care provider who specializes in the pelvic floor muscles can help you learn to strengthen and control the muscles involved in urination. One type of exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor is called a Kegel.
- Medications: These relieve the frequent urges by blocking the nerve that signals your bladder to contract too soon.
Read Also: What Causes A Cyst On Your Bladder