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Overactive Bladder Vs Urinary Incontinence

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Treating Oab And Ui With A Urologist

Geriatric Considerations in Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder (OAB)

We hope this blog served as a helpful resource to differentiate urinary incontinence vs. overactive bladder. From constantly fearing youll have an accident, to living your life conscious of where the closest bathroom is, overactive bladder and urinary incontinence can feel like theyre controlling your life.

Scheduling an appointment with one of our incredible urologists can be the first step you take to gaining back that control in your life. Click the button below to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists your bladder will thank you!

A Mixed Case Of Overactive Bladder & Urinary Incontinence

The reason for urinary incontinence and an overactive bladder is the involuntary passing of urine. As a result, unless a professional urologist performs extensive investigation, it can be impossible to discern between the two. The good news is that you can manage both conditions using adult diapers and pull-ups.

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 Panels meta-analytic efforts were hampered by lack of consistent reporting of variance information for baseline and post-treatment measurements.

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When To Contact A Doctor

A person may not need to consult a doctor right away if symptoms are mild or do not cause issues. Someone may only need to contact a doctor if their symptoms worsen.

People should consider consulting a medical professional if their symptoms are moderate to severe and causing issues with their daily lives. A doctor can help diagnose and provide advice on treatment for the prolapse.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Overactive Bladder

21 best Urinary Incontinence images on Pinterest

Overactive bladder happens when your bladder muscles contract too readily, giving you a stronger or more frequent urge to urinate.

This problem can be caused by incomplete bladder emptying, overactive bladder muscles, or improper nerve signals from your brain that tell your bladder to contract.

Several different health issues can contribute to overactive bladder, including the following:

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When To Consult A Doctor

If you notice a sudden change in your bathroom habits, have issues holding urine, feel an ever-present urge to urinate, visit bathroom more than eight times in a day, or have trouble urinating you might want to set up an appointment with your doctor to get things checked out. Your doctor might also be able to help you have a neurogenic bladder diagnosis better.

Normal Female Bladder Function

The adult bladder is a hollow organ with a muscular wall. Urine enters the bladder from two ureters which run from the kidney to the bladder. Urine is expelled from the bladder to the exterior via the urethra.

The detrusor muscle of the bladder wall is specifically designed to be able to store urine without increasing bladder pressure. The bladder acts as a reservoir relaxing to receive urine during the filling phase and only contracts to evacuate during the voiding phase.

The urethra acts reciprocally to contract during the filling phase to keep urine in the bladder and relaxing during voiding to allow for micturition. At rest the urethra is closed and the walls coapt against each other to form a seal that acts to keep urine in the bladder. Under situations of increased abdominal pressure contraction of the pelvic floor muscles and muscles around the urethra act to offer increased urethral resistance and maintain continence.

This video explains the pathophysiology of the overactive bladder. Bladder overactivity is a common problem affecting nearly 1 in 7 seven women. The aim of the video is to understand what is happening when the bladder is overactive. When you understand the cause you are more likely to be compliant with the treatments.

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Overactive Bladder Vs Urinary Incontinence: Whats The Difference

Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder no longer has enough capacity to store pee. If you have an overactive bladder, you may have frequent urges to urinate or have incidents. When you lose control of your bladder, this is called urinary incontinence. Its a symptom rather than a disease. Incontinence can be the result of anything as simple as drinking too much water. Also, it can be a sign of something more serious such as a urinary tract infection .

Precautions And Proper Diagnosis

Axonics Center of Excellence for Overactive Bladder and Urinary Incontinence

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.

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Wet Overactive Bladder Vs Dry Overactive Bladder: Whats The Difference

Dry type is when you have urgency where you really have to go to the bathroom and its difficult to wait, but you dont leak, and then theres wet type, where you also have the really strong urge but you cant make it to the bathroom in time and do have urine leakage, says Wu.

If you have both of those kinds, its called mixed, she adds.

Overactive Bladder And Urge Urinary Incontinence In The Workplace

Any discussion of the effects of OAB and urge urinary incontinence in younger women has to consider the effects of these disorders in the workplace. Incontinence in working-age women has genuine economic consequences. Fultz and colleagues27 conducted a mail survey of women born in 1947 or earlier to assess their time use and activity patterns, including time spent at work. Incontinent women reported significantly fewer hours working for pay than did continent women. The median number of hours

Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onApril 30, 2016

Overactive bladder, or OAB, affects about 15 percent of the North American population. People who have OAB find themselves using the bathroom eight or more times a day and can even have urge incontinence involuntary loss of urine. Although it may appear that the older we get, the odds of us developing OAB increase, it really is not age-related. OAB occurs when contractions of the detrusor muscle within the wall of the bladder occur involuntarily. This, in turn, leads to more frequent trips to the bathroom.

Also Check: Why Does Bladder Leakage Occur

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What Causes Neurogenic Bladder

Neurogenic bladder can be congenital . Birth defects that can cause neurogenic bladder include:

  • Spina bifida : This disorder occurs when the fetus spine does not completely develop during the first month of pregnancy. Babies born with myelomeningocele often have paralysis or weakness that affects how the bladder works.
  • Sacral agenesis: This is a condition in which parts of the lower spine are missing.
  • Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of chronic disorders that weaken a persons ability to control body movement and posture. These disorders result from injury to the motor areas of the brain. The problem causing cerebral palsy may occur while the infant is still in the womb or after birth. Cerebral palsy is not always found during a childs first year of life.

Various medical conditions can cause neurogenic bladder, including the following:

Also Check: Overactive Bladder At Night Causes

Medical And Surgical Treatments For Urge Incontinence

What Is Mixed Incontinence?

If behavioral modifications such as timed voiding and bladder training do not improve the symptoms of urge incontinence, your doctor may decide to try various medical or surgical treatments. These methods have the same goal relief of the symptoms and inconvenience of urge incontinence.

Medical treatments for urge incontinence include:

  • Medications: There are several medications that are used to treat urge incontinence. They include:


Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter.

Your health care provider may also recommend other medications that may help control bladder spasms. They include hyoscyamine or dicyclomine .

If behavioral treatments and medications do not help, other options for treatment include:

The drug Botox injected into the bladder muscle causes the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity and reducing episodes of leakage. It can be used in adults that do not respond to or cannot use other medications that treat overactive bladder.

Another drug treatment that may be helpful for some women is hormone therapy, which uses estrogen alone or in combination with progesterone. However, evidence of benefit for urge incontinence has been mixed. In addition, because of the possible risks of hormone therapy including a potential increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer you should discuss this therapy with your doctor.

  • Electrical stimulation:

Surgical procedures for urge incontinence include:

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Different Problems Different Treatments

We offer customized treatments to address your specific needs. For example, if you have stress incontinence, we might recommend:

  • Medication or hormone therapy to treat vaginal atrophy
  • Vaginal pessary to support your pelvic floor or bladder
  • Physical therapy
  • BTL Emsella treatments

However, if you have urge incontinence, we might recommend Botox® injections or nerve stimulation to correct the nerve signals to and from your bladder. Depending on your needs, you might also find that medication to relax the bladder muscle or increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Difference Between Overactive Bladder Urinary Incontinence And Urinary Tract Infection

Overactive bladder , also known as overactive bladder syndrome, is a condition where there is a frequent feeling of needing to urinate to a degree that it negatively affects a persons life. The frequent need to urinate may occur during the day, at night, or both. Risk factors include obesity, caffeine, and constipation. Poorly controlled diabetes, poor functional mobility, and chronic pelvic pain may worsen the symptoms. People often have the symptoms for a long time before seeking treatment and the condition is sometimes identified by caregivers. Diagnosis is based on a persons signs and symptoms and requires other problems such as urinary tract infections or neurological conditions to be excluded. The amount of urine passed during each urination is relatively small. Pain while urinating suggests that there is a problem other than overactive bladder. Specific treatment is not always required. If treatment is desired pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, and other behavioral methods are initially recommended. Weight loss in those who are overweight, decreasing caffeine consumption, and drinking moderate fluids, can also have benefits. Medications, typically of the anti-muscarinic type, are only recommended if other measures are not effective. They are no more effective than behavioral methods however, they are associated with side effects, particularly in older people.

There are four main types of incontinence:

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Depression Anxiety Attention Deficit Disorder And Oab

It is probably too simplistic to view OAB with urge UI as just a myogenic or afferent disorder. Certain individuals seem predisposed to OAB. Circumstantial evidence suggests individuals with depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder may experience symptoms of OAB more often than the general population. Wolfe and colleagues suggested that depression, anxiety, feeding disturbances, pain, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and changes in voiding are associated with disturbances in brain circuits using specific neurotransmitters, in particular serotonin . Fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome are conditions seen more often in patients with IC than the general population, and these conditions are associated with OAB and possibly with depression, which provides a potential link with 5-HT metabolism. Perhaps the strongest evidence for diminished 5-HT function in depressed patients is the remarkable efficacy of selective serotonin uptake inhibitors in this group of patients. In addition, neuropharmacologic evidence indicates that some forms of depression are associated with abnormalities in the promoter for the serotonin transporter gene.,

Besides Prescriptions Or Pills Lifestyle Changes May Help Ease Urinary Incontinence Symptoms

Overactive Bladder (OAB) / Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) & the Urinary Microbiome

Because stress incontinence is associated with higher BMI, trying to achieve a healthy weight may help improve it, says Faubion. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises are also good for helping with stress incontinence.

Its harder to know how to prevent OAB, says Wu. There does appear to be certain foods and drinks that can exacerbate symptoms caffeinated drinks, so coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol. Sometimes we think spicy or acidic foods can make OAB symptoms worse, and so avoiding or limiting those drinks and foods may help, she says.

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What If Diet & Exercise Dont Work

Stress incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence. This is not caused by emotional stress but by strain on the bladder like jumping, bending, lifting, exercise, and even coughing or sneezing. Being overweight can also strain the bladder. If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, this strain can cause urine to leak. It can be a small amount of urine or just a few drops.

Stress incontinence is more likely to occur in women.

Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence occurs when the body makes more urine than the bladder can hold. This may also occur if the bladder is full and cant empty, which causes it to leak. The bladder muscle may not squeeze as it should or something might be blocking the flow. Overflow incontinence causes frequent urinating in small amounts and constant dribbling.

This type is more common in men and is often associated with prostate surgery or prostate problems.

Overactive bladder

Also known as urge or urgency incontinence, this condition causes the bladder muscles to contract and signal a need to urinate even if the bladder is empty. It causes an overwhelming urge to urinate immediately and may cause accidents if you dont make it to the restroom in time.

Urgency incontinence can be caused by physical problems like damage to the spine, brain, or the nerves between the spine and the bladder. It can also be caused by a bladder infection.

Functional incontinence

Overactive Bladder Vs Urge Incontinence: Whats The Difference

There are many different causes of overactive bladder vs. urge incontinence. They are related to each other, but they can exist separately. Urge urinary incontinence is treatable with physical therapy and depending on the cause, will resolve on its own. OAB, on the other hand, may require medication to help control the signals sent to the brain from the bladder. Lets discuss the difference between both in more detail below.

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Can People Diagnose It Themselves

A person cannot officially diagnose themselves with a bladder prolapse, though they may be able to determine and feel that the bladder has dropped, particularly if it is severe. It is a good idea to consult a doctor if they suspect a prolapse or notice any signs or symptoms that may indicate a prolapsed bladder.

When To See A Doctor

Electrical Stimulation For Floor Muscles

If youve changed your diet or other lifestyle habits but still cant control when you urinate, you may benefit from seeing a doctor.

Its an especially good idea to see a doctor if:

  • you avoid going out in public because youre afraid youll have an accident
  • you dont spend time with family or friends because youre worried you smell like urine or cant control when you pee or
  • youre worried or embarrassed about how often you urinate.

To schedule an appointment with a urogynecologist, call 801-213-2995.

Also Check: How Do You Know If Your Bladder Is Leaking

Signs And Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder

Symptoms of overactive bladder vary from person to person, and may include:

  • Sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty holding in urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintentional loss of urine with urgent need to urinate
  • Waking up more than once or twice at night to urinate

The defining symptom of overactive bladder is sudden, strong urges to urinate. You may fear that youll leak urine on the way to the bathroom.

Even if you dont actually leak urine, OAB can disrupt your life and may cause significant distress.

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