Signs Symptoms And Treatments
For most men, one trip to the bathroom will empty the bladder and provide relief for several hours. Men with overactive bladder will regularly feel a powerful urge to urinate throughout the day and night. OAB can be life-altering, affect men of all ages, and wreak havoc on your job, social and active lifestyle, and your sleep. Thankfully, there are a variety of approaches available to ease an overactive bladder and get your life back.
Causes Of Overactive Bladder In Men
About two-thirds of overactive bladder cases in men are due to benign prostatic hyperplasia , also called an enlarged prostate. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through from the bladder out of the body.
Although an enlarged prostate does not account for all cases of OAB in men, many who are treated for the symptoms are assumed to have an obstruction in the bladder caused by an enlarged prostate.
Age increases a mans risk of getting OAB. Age also increases a mans risk for BPH, which can lead to OAB.
An infection in the bladder, bladder stones and bladder cancer can cause symptoms that lead to OAB. Neurological conditions, such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons disease, cause nerve damage that results in sending the incorrect signals to the bladder that causes OAB. Temporary factors, such as drinking a lot of caffeinated or alcoholic fluids, taking medications that increase urine output or having constipation, might increase the need to urinate.
Here Are Some Commonly Used Products To Address Urinary Incontinence:
- Tabbed Briefs – Looks and operates like a classic diaper, featuring tabs on either side of the underwear that attach in the front to secure the brief.
- Pull-Up Underwear – Similar to regular underwear, pull-ups can be pulled on and off. The sides tear away for easy removal.
- Pads & Guards – An absorbent strip for men and women that sits between your underwear and your skin. The adhesive along the back of the pad attaches to your underwear allowing for leakage protection during activity, without the need for a full diaper.
- Bed Liners – An absorbent sheet that is placed under you in bed or while sitting in a chair. This protects the linens from any leaks.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is purely for educational purposes and should not be used in place of the advice of your doctor or physician.
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Make Regular And Controlled Visits
Double void is another approach to dealing with OAB. This technique involves relieving yourself and then, a few minutes later, going again. This deliberate approach to bathroom visits helps you to make sure that after passing urine a second time, your bladder is mostly or completely empty. The main benefit of this approach is that you can avoid having to return to the bathroom just a few minutes after your initial visit, which is both a nuisance and sometimes embarassing.
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What Is An Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder describes a group of urinary symptomsthe most significant of which is a sudden, urgent, uncontrollable urge to urinate.
Patients will most often report urgency as the main symptom of overactive bladder. Sometimes even to the point of leakage symptoms which can be very uncomfortable and even embarrassing for the patient, says Abigail Soto, PA-C a family physician assistant with Healthcare Associates of Texas.
Overactive bladders are caused by a wide range of factors, which is why its critical to work with a doctor who can help you pinpoint and treat the root causes of your symptoms. An overactive bladder isnt usually life-threatening but can lead to complications that affect your well-being, including emotional distress, mental illness, and sleep problems.
Relaxation Techniques And Exercises For Oab
Various treatment options are available to treat overactive bladder. For example, in addition to medication, lifestyle changes may help reduce the symptoms. Exercises that relax and strengthen the bladder are also useful.
Exercises that help relax the bladder muscles may help reduce symptoms of overactive bladder. In addition, performing exercises that strengthen the muscles and support the bladder may also help reduce urine leakage and incontinence.
It is best to talk with your healthcare provider to determine which exercises may be most beneficial. Below are examples of typical techniques and exercises for OAB.
1. Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the bladder. If you have an overactive bladder, weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to urine leakage.
To perform a Kegel, squeeze the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the squeeze for about five seconds and relax. Repeat the exercise about five times. As the muscles get stronger, increase the duration to about 10 seconds. Perform Kegels a few times a day or as instructed by your doctor.
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2. Quick Contractions
3. Vaginal Strengthening
5. Deep Breathing
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Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Your pelvic floor muscles surround the bladder and urethra and control the flow of urine as you pee.
Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary incontinence, so exercising these muscles is often recommended.
A GP may refer you to a specialist to start a programme of pelvic floor muscle training.
The specialist will assess whether you’re able to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and by how much.
If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles, you’ll be given an exercise programme based on your assessment.
Your programme should include a minimum of 8 muscle contractions at least 3 times a day and last for at least 3 months. If the exercises are helping after this time, you can keep on doing them.
Research has shown that pelvic floor muscle training can benefit everyone with urinary incontinence.
Find out more about pelvic floor exercises.
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Precautions And Proper Diagnosis
The main symptoms of OAB can also occur in other health conditions like bladder cancer, urinary tract infection and enlarged prostate. Seeing blood in your urine is not a symptom of OAB.
A sudden and frequent need to urinate is common in both OAB and a UTI. How can you tell the difference between these two urinary health issues? Unlike OAB, a UTI also comes with other symptoms such as discomfort while urinating. In addition, OAB symptoms are continuous while UTI symptoms are sudden and may also include a fever.
Overflow incontinence is characterized by the involuntary release of urine from an overfull urinary bladder, often in the absence of any urge to urinate. This condition is not associated with OAB. It typically occurs in people who have a blockage of the bladder outlet, which can occur with benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer or a narrowing of the urethra. Overflow incontinence can also occur when the muscle responsible for removing urine from the bladder is too weak to empty the bladder in a normal way.
It is very important to see a doctor to ensure a proper diagnosis if you experience any changes in your urine and/or urination habits.
Do I Have A Uti Or An Overactive Bladder
A common cause of urinary complaints, especially a change in your urination pattern, is a urinary tract infection, or UTI, McKnight said. If you visit with your healthcare provider and discuss a change in your urination such as an increased urge to urinate or leakage of urine, they will likely test for a UTI first. If you have a UTI, your symptoms will likely be quick and easy fix.
UTIs can cause feelings of pain when urinating, cloudy urine, lower abdominal pain and an increased urge to urinate. If you test negative for a UTI, your provider will ask questions about when you notice your bladder symptoms. Leaking urine or peeing a little when laughing or coughing is a sign of stress incontinence, McKnight explained. Suddenly needing to pee and not reaching the bathroom in time is a sign of urge incontinence. Both types of incontinence are treatable.
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What Is Oab And Who Does It Affect
Overactive bladder, also known as OAB and spastic bladder, is exactly what it sounds like it is a bladder that feels the need to urinate frequently.
Typically, the kidneys produce urine and send it to the bladder. The bladder then expands and holds urine it also has a sphincter muscle that controls the flow of the urine. When the bladder gets approximately half full , the brain senses that it needs to be emptied. OAB occurs when there is coordination problem with the system.
Anyone can get OAB. This includes men, women and children. However, 40% of cases occur in women. Children are also prone to develop OAB, but they are also likely to grow out of these symptoms because they learn to control their bladder and recognize the urge to urinate.
Causes Of Overactive Bladder
To understand the cause of Overactive Bladder, a basic understanding of how the urinary system operates is needed.
The kidneys produce the urine and send it to the bladder. The bladder expands to holds the urine while the sphincter muscle acts as a spiget and controls the flow of urine. Basically on or off. As soon as your bladder gets approximately half fullmost people can handle about 2 cups of urineyour brain is signaled that you need to empty it. The bladder muscles contract while the sphincter relaxes. When there is a coordination problem along this system, incontinence occurs.
With Overactive Bladder, a person may be suddenly aware of the urgency sensation but is unable to get to the toilet before losing control of his or her urine. Urine loss can be in large amounts that soak underwear and even outer clothing.
Common triggers like hearing running water or simply the anticipation of urinating can cause a bladder spasm. In some cases, people who have physical limitations may not be able to reach the toilet in time, causing an accident.
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Treating Bladder Conditions At Healthcare Associates Of Texas
Soto emphasizes, The right time to see your doctor about overactive bladder symptoms is when it is affecting your quality of life and limiting what you would normally do.
Healthcare Associates of Texas is home to a large team of board-certified doctors and medical professionals who can treat bladder conditions, including an overactive bladder. To make an appointment, visit the appointments page.
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Q: What Is Overactive Bladder
A: Overactive bladder occurs when there is a frequent urge to urinate. It may or may not result in urine leakage. My patients describe it as an urgency they cant suppress they need to use the bathroom or theyre afraid they might leak. Sometimes, it involves nocturiathe need to urinate at nightbut not in every case.
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What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of urinary urgency which is a sudden compelling desire to urinate that is difficult to postpone. It is usually accompanied by frequent urination and nocturia . It is also commonly accompanied by urgency incontinence, where urine is accidently lost with urgency. This commonly manifests as the inability to get to the bathroom on time once urgency starts. OAB is quite common and affects about 11-16% of adults to varying degrees. Although it is common, that does not mean that a person who is affected by OAB should simply live with the condition, as many do. For some OAB can have a profound effect on quality of life causing disruptions at work, curtailing of social activities, reduction of sexual intimacy, and interfere with sleep. However, it is important to know that there are effective treatments for the symptoms of OAB.
There are other conditions such as urinary tract infections , polyps or tumors in the bladder, and excessive drinking of fluids that can cause similar symptoms and these conditions should be ruled out by your health care provider before embarking on OAB treatment.
Medical Treatments For Nocturia
Your doctor may prescribe medications when preventive measures and lifestyle changes fail to reduce the frequency of your nighttime urination. Doctors prescribe a class of drugs called anticholinergics to treat symptoms of OAB, if thats the cause of your nocturia. They reduce bladder spasms that create the urge to go.
Your doctor may suggest you take a diuretic for regular urine production. A diuretic can itself cause nocturia. But if you take it early enough in the day, it may help you get rid of excess fluid while youre awake. This should decrease your urine production at night.
Other drugs that may help are:
- desmopression in cases of diabetes insipidus to cause the kidneys to produce less urine
- tamsulosin , finasteride , or dutasteride to treat prostate enlargement
- antibiotics if you have a urinary tract infection
Your doctor may also adjust your diabetic medications to lower your blood sugar if theyre causing nocturia.
Natural Supplements You Can Take At Home
While there have been very few scientific studies on herbal remedies as an option for overactive bladder treatment, some remedies have shown promising results for some people.
Studies from Japan have shown improvements in urgency, leakage and a reduction in night-time urination using a herbal remedy known as Gosha-jinki-gan. Also, the buchu plant from South Africa is thought to nourish the bladder tissue and fights inflammation which can lead to infections and incontinence.
There are also plenty of common herbs that may help with symptoms, including:
- Corn silk
- Ganoderma lucidum
Remember to consult your doctor first before adding any of these herbal remedies into your overactive bladder management plan.
What Are The Specific Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder represents a collection of symptoms that can include:
- Urinary urgency: This is a failure to be able to postpone the need to urinate. When you feel you need to urinate, you have a limited amount of time to get to a bathroom.
- Frequency of urination: People who experience this symptom need to urinate very often. Typically its an increase in the number of times you urinate compared to what you previously experienced.
- Urge incontinence: In this case, there can be a leakage of urine when you get the urge to urinate.
- Nocturia: This symptom is characterized by the need to get up and urinate at least two times each night.
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Drugs For Overactive Bladder
In people with overactive bladder, muscles in the bladder wall contract at the wrong time. A group of drugs called anticholinergics combat this problem by blocking the nerve signals related to bladder muscle contractions. Research suggests that these drugs also might increase bladder capacity and decrease the urge to go.
Anticholinergic drugs include:
Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter. Overall, these drugs work about the same in treating overactive bladder, and generally people tolerate all of them well. The main side effect is dry mouth, but anticholinergics also can cause constipation, blurred vision, and increased heartbeat.
Anticholinergics aren’t right for everyone. Some people with glaucoma, urinary retention, or gastrointestinal disease should avoid using anticholinergic drugs.
The drugs mirabegron and vibegron called beta-3 adrenergic agonists. These medications work by activating a protein receptor in bladder muscles that relaxes them and helps the bladder fill and store urine.
Doctors also treat men with drugs that relax a muscle at the bladder neck and prostate to help with emptying. They include:
What To Expect From Your Doctor
In terms of an assessment, your nurse or doctor will ask you about your general health and in particular, about your OAB problem. You may be examined orally and internally, and you might be asked to give a urine sample to see if you have any obvious problems.
As part of your treatment programme, you may be asked to keep a bladder diary for roughly 3 days, which typically involves making a record of the time of each time you pass urine and how much urine was passed.
You may also be asked to take a flow test, and in some cases a post-flow ultrasound test. This involves using a special machine which checks whether you completely empty your bladder and also measures how strong your flow is.
Here is a short list of possible questions your doctor may ask and the tests they may ask you to complete:
- An overview of your medical history.
- A physical examination, which could include a rectal exam and a pelvic exam in women.
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How To Treat Overactive Bladder Syndrome
How to treat overactive bladder syndrome? Medications that relax the bladder can be helpful for relieving symptoms of overactive bladder and reducing episodes of urge incontinence. These drugs include: Tolterodine Oxybutynin, which can be taken as a pill or used as a skin patch or gel
Can an overactive bladder be cured? Theres no cure for OAB, but the good news is that there are effective ways to manage it. These include behavioral treatments, lifestyle changes, medications, and sometimes surgery. OAB can happen for several reasons. Sometimes treating the underlying cause of your OAB can help your symptoms.
How do I get rid of overactive bladder fast? Overactive bladder describes a combination of symptoms that can include a frequent urge to urinate and waking up at night to urinate. Causes can include weak muscles, nerve damage, use of medications, alcohol or caffeine, infection, and being overweight. Lifestyle changes may help.
What is the main cause of overactive bladder? Urgency is the key symptom in diagnosing OAB and it is closely associated with frequent daytime desire to urinate, nocturia, and incontinence. Nocturia is reported as the most bothersome symptom .