Overactive Bladder Treatment Options
Research indicates that most people believe the symptoms of an overactive bladder are an inevitable and normal part of growing older, rather than a treatable medical problem. This couldnt be further from the truth.
In fact, fewer than half of individuals with incontinence actually consult a healthcare provider about their problem. This is unfortunate, since there are many treatments available to combat symptoms of OAB.
Even though it may feel embarrassing to talk about your condition, its important to talk to your doctor about your incontinence symptoms. Watch our short film below about the importance of speaking up about bladder leakage.
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Living With Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Although overactive bladder symptoms are not life-threatening, they usually have a negative impact on your quality of life. Different people cope differently with their symptoms and the possible side effects of treatment. Your personal preferences and values and the impact of OAB symptoms on your life should not be underestimated.
Quality of life involves both physical and psychological health. It is important not only to feel healthy but also to feel free from the psychological pressure of living with OAB symptoms.
Symptoms such as urgency or the need to urinate frequently are likely to have a negative effect on your quality of life. Someone with OAB symptoms often needs to locate toilets before leaving the house and may avoid certain activities altogether. Also, losing sleep because of waking up at night to urinate may lower your energy levels, which makes it more difficult to maintain your daily activities. Episodes of urgency which result in leakage of urine are embarrassing and may lower your self-esteem.
These problems can also impact your loved ones. For example, your partner might be awoken by night time toilet visits. Because of your OAB symptoms you may avoid social activities. This can also affect your partnerâs social life and lead to a feeling of isolation which prevents you and your loved ones from fully enjoying life.
This information was produced by the European Association of Urology .
Overactive Bladder At A Glance
- Overactive bladder is a group of urinary symptoms that produces the feeling that one has to go to the bathroom urgently and often.
- Women also may have accidental leakage of urine with urgency and leak urine because they canât get to the bathroom in time . Some women also wake up many times in the middle of the night to urinate .
- Overactive bladder is common in both men and women, with 40% of women experiencing OAB symptoms.
- OAB can be caused by nerve damage from another medical condition or have no apparent cause. Factors increasing oneâs risk for OAB include age, childbirth, obesity and urinary tract infections.
- This condition causes emotional stress and can disrupt a personâs normal lifestyle. Yet many women, and men, are too embarrassed to talk about it, so they suffer needlessly.
- Women do not have to suffer with symptoms of OAB and urge incontinence! We have several types of treatments to address these including lifestyle changes, medications, pelvic floor muscle therapy, Botox injections and nerve stimulation treatments.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder symptoms can include:
- Sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate This symptom can come on very quickly and without any warning.
- Urge incontinence This happens when you suddenly leak urine after feeling an urgent and immediate need to go to the toilet. Theres also a feeling of not being able to reach the toilet fast enough.
- Frequency This is the need to urinate more often than usual sometimes more than eight times within a 24 hour period. Often the need to urinate is ever-present whether fluid intake is limited or not.
- Nocturia This occurs when an overactive bladder wakes you to use the toilet several times during the night to the point where your sleep cycle is disrupted.
Overactive Bladder In Women
Women are more likely to report symptoms of OAB to their doctor. In fact, at least 40 percent of American women experience symptoms of overactive bladder. Many more may not report the experiences to their doctor at all.
Overactive bladder consists of a series of symptoms that cause you to need to urinate more frequently. These symptoms include
- feeling a sudden need to urinate
- not being able to control urination
- urinating at least two times every night
- urinating at least eight times every day
Its not clear what causes overactive bladder, but OAB becomes more common in women after menopause. That may be the result of estrogen deficiency. However, overactive bladder can occur at any age.
Overactive bladder is a common childhood condition, but not every accident or soiled bed is the result of OAB. Children frequently grow out of overactive bladder symptoms, but treatment can help prevent frequent urination or complications.
Symptoms of OAB in children include:
- an urgent or frequent need to urinate
- accidents or leaking urine
- urinating more than eight times in a day
- not feeling as if theyve emptied their bladder despite urinating
Symptoms of OAB become less common as children get older. With age, kids learn to properly control their bladder and recognize signals that they need to urinate. If symptoms of overactive bladder dont seem to be resolving or are getting worse, talk with your childs doctor.
Causes of OAB in children include:
- urinary tract infection
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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.
What Is An Overactive Bladder
The bladder is an organ where the urine produced by the kidneys is stored. The bladder, which consists of a muscular structure, is in the form of a pouch and can store an average of 500 cc of urine. In OAB syndrome, a problem occurs in the contraction of the smooth muscles around the bladder. These muscles contract excessively, causing an increase in bladder internal pressure and a sudden urge to urinate. In an overactive bladder accompanied by urinary incontinence, there is usually an increase in the frequency of urination and an increase in urination at night.
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Getting Help For Overactive Bladder
The first step in treatment is to ask for help. It may feel funny talking to your doctor about something as private as urinary issues, but rest assured that your doctor is a professional and is here to help. Be prepared before your appointment by keeping a bladder diary for a few days. This will help your doctor see the extent of your problem, and may help him or her to see any triggers that may be causing your urinary urgency issues.
Be prepared to have a thorough discussion with your doctor about your overactive bladder symptoms, as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing. You should also let you doctor know if you suffer from any other conditions, such as diabetes, and provide a list of medications youre currently taking, which may be contributing to your symptoms.
Making a list of questions beforehand is also a great idea to ensure that you dont forget anything during your appointment. You may want to ask your doctor about different treatment options that he thinks may be a good fit for you, or about any options youve read about that youre interested in trying. Make sure you find out about the potential side effects for any treatment your doctor proposes, as well as what you can expect in terms of a success rate.
Get To Know Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder causes a frequent and sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control. The definite causes of overactive bladder remain unknown. Overactive bladder occurs when the muscles of the bladder start to contract involuntarily even though the volume of urine in the bladder is low. These involuntary muscle contractions produce an urgent need to urinate. Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate and waking up at night to urinate regardless of the amount of water intake. As a result, overactive bladder significantly impairs self-confidence, increases risk of depression and other psychological effects as well as induces sleep disturbance, leading to decreased quality of life. Overactive bladder has been commonly found in women than men, aged 30-40. In fact, the prevalence of overactive bladder collectively increases with age where the highest prevalence is found in people aged over 50. Several conditions may contribute to signs and symptoms of overactive bladder, including neurological disorders such as stroke, diabetes, hormonal changes during menopause in women, abnormalities in the bladder, such as tumors or bladder stones and factors that obstruct bladder outflow. Other possible risk factors may include certain medications, excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol and declining cognitive function.
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Oab And Your Prostate
Among men, many cases of OAB are caused by an enlarged prostate gland. Your prostate may get larger as you age. It can block your flow of urine, causing symptoms of OAB.
According to the National Association for Continence, up to 50 percent of men experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate by the time they turn 60. A whopping 90 percent of men experience symptoms by age 85.
Overactive Bladder Common In Postacute Covid
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2022 — Overactive bladder symptoms are common in patients recovering from postacute COVID-19 syndrome , according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare.
Athanasios Zachariou, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Ioannina in Greece, and colleagues examined the consequences on bladder function in patients suffering from PACS. The analysis included 66 of 147 patients who reported experiencing “a sudden, uncontrolled need to urinate and sometimes a urine leakage” after recovering from the acute stage of COVID-19.
The researchers found that 44 patients were newly diagnosed with OAB and 22 had worsening OAB symptoms . Group A had a mean symptom score of 18.25 using the American Urological Association Urology Care Foundation Overactive Bladder Assessment Tool, while the mean score increased in group B from 10.43 pre-COVID-19 to 17.87 post-COVID-19. The total quality of life score was 17.74 in group A, while group B showed escalation in the total QOL score from 9.04 pre-COVID-19 to 18.84 post-COVID-19. Men and women were similar with respect to symptoms and QOL scores in groups A and B.
Posted November 2022
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Complementary Alternative And Integrative Therapies And Practices
There may be steps you can take on your own to improve your bladder control, either with or without medical therapies.
Keeping a bladder diary tracking your urination as well as food and beverage intake, and other activities can help you figure out what foods or behaviors might contribute to OAB.
Changing your urination behaviors may help train your brain to send signals to urinate in a more regular way. Techniques that may be helpful include:
- Delayed voiding
- Timed urination
Its a good idea to talk with your doctor about these techniques before trying any of them.
You may also benefit from exercises that use your pelvic floor muscles, including the following:
- Kegels This exercise involves squeezing your pelvic muscles tight for a few seconds, then relaxing and repeating this for a set number of repetitions.
- Quick Flicks When you have the urge to urinate, you may be able to help control it by quickly squeezing and relaxing your pelvic muscles over and over.
Common Signs You Have An Overactive Bladder
The telltale sign of an overactive bladder is a sudden and strong urge to urinate. It can be so strong that its impossible to ignore and youll likely be afraid of having an accident if you dont go to the bathroom immediately. The Urology Care Foundation says you may or may not actually leak. The source says other signs to look out for include:
- A frequent need to urinate . While the number of times can vary from person to person, the source says many experts say going to the bathroom more than eight times in 24-hours is considered frequent.
- Urge incontinence, which means you leak urine when you feel the sudden urge to urinate.
- Nocturia, which is the need to urinate more than once at night.
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Complications Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. It can interfere with work, sleep, exercise, your social life, and your sex life.
Many people with OAB are nervous about having access to a restroom outside their home and may shy away from certain social activities or even everyday errands. This, in turn, may result in feeling isolated and lonely.
If you need to get up several times during the night to urinate, it may be difficult to get restful sleep. This can leave you tired during the day and contribute to mood disorders, like depression and anxiety.
And if youre worried that sexual activity will cause discomfort, that youll be interrupted by the need to urinate, or that youll leak urine, you may be reluctant to engage in sex. This can take a toll on relationships, causing further emotional difficulty.
In addition, urine leakage can lead to skin problems or infections.
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.
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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.
Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Overactive bladder syndrome is a common condition and can affect both men and women. Between 10 and 20% of people suffer from it at some stage in their lives. This syndrome is characterised by the presence of urinary symptoms that include:
- The sudden need to urinate and having trouble postponing it, also called urgency, that can be followed by an involuntary loss of urine
- The need to urinate more often than usual, called increased daytime frequency
- The need to wake up at night to urinate, also called nocturia
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Upper Urinary Tract Infections
The persistent stress placed on the bladder from years of muscular contractions can induce structural changes to the bladder itself, including:
- Trabeculated bladder: In which the bladder is no longer able to expand when filled or contract when emptied
- Bladder diverticulum: In which weakened parts of the bladder wall start to thin and form pouches
These conditions often co-occur and are both associated with an increased risk of upper urinary tract infections .
With a trabeculated bladder, the loss of muscle tone can cause urine to reflux into the kidneys and establish an infection . With a bladder diverticulum, the same can occur due to bladder outlet obstruction.
In rare cases, a bladder diverticulum can cause the organ to rupture, requiring emergency surgery.