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.
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.
NAFC is excited to debut a short film about coming to terms with overactive bladder and incontinence. About just how challenging it can be to admit that there’s a problem. And also about how facing up to that reality can be an important first step towards drier days. Watch this short video about OAB, and about how not speaking up can create more problems than staying silent.
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.
Read Also: Do You Bleed With A Bladder Infection
How The Urinary Tract Works And What Happens With Oab Your Browser Does Not Support Html5 Audio Playback You May Download The Audio File Directly Here
The urinary tract is the important system that removes liquid waste from our bodies:
- kidneys: two bean-shaped organs that clean waste from the blood and make urine
- ureters: two thin tubes that take urine from the kidney to the bladder
- bladder: a balloon-like sac that holds urine until it’s time to go to the bathroom
- urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. The urethra has muscles called sphincters that lock in urine. The sphincters open to release urine when the bladder contracts.
When your bladder is full, your brain signals the bladder. The bladder muscles then squeeze. This forces the urine out through the urethra. The sphincters in the urethra open and urine flows out. When your bladder is not full, the bladder is relaxed.
With a healthy bladder, signals in your brain let you know that your bladder is getting full or is full, but you can wait to go to the bathroom. With OAB, you can’t wait. You feel a sudden, urgent need to go. This can happen even if your bladder isn’t full.
Losing Weight May Help To Improve Your Bladder Control
Excess weight puts extra stress on your pelvic floor muscles and contributes to an overactive bladder and loss of bladder control. If you can lose even a small amount of weight, it will help with bladder control.
The best weight loss plans are always those that set realistic goals combined with healthy eating habits and physical activity. Fad diets, although often successful short-term, rarely achieve sustainable weight loss, because once you tire of the diet, you often revert to ingrained unhealthy eating habits.
Check out our Obesity and Weight Loss guide for more information.
Recommended Reading: Painful Bladder Syndrome Bladder Training
What Are The Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder Syndrome
The symptoms of OAB syndrome include:
- This means that you have a sudden urgent desire to pass urine. You are not able to put off going to the toilet.
- Latch key urgency is the name given to the urgent need you might feel to pass urine as soon as you get home and put your key in the door.
- This means going to the toilet more often than normal – usually more than eight times a day. In many cases it is a lot more than eight times a day.
Filling out a bladder diary will help your doctor work out which treatments would be best for you. Ideally, this should include details of your symptoms, what you ate and drank and your activities. It is best to complete the diary for at least three days and cover variations in your usual activities, such as both working and leisure days.
What Are The Symptoms
The main symptoms of overactive bladder are:
- An urgent need to urinate.
- The need to urinate often.
- Waking up to urinate 2 or more times a night.
- The need to urinate even if you have just gone to the bathroom.
- Taking many trips to the bathroom only to urinate just a little bit each time.
- Leaking urine when you have the urge to urinate.
You may have some or all of these symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Bladder Stones In Cats Surgery Cost
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.
Pathophysiology Of The Oab Syndrome
Various factors may be involved in OAB and the major cause may vary from individual to individual. The etiology of OAB is still under investigation and is not well understood. However, 4 theories have been proposed to explain the pathophysiology of OAB:
The neurogenic theory: reduction in the inhibitory neural impulses and increase in the afferent impulses from the bladder trigger the voiding reflex .
The myogenic theory: the detrusor muscle becomes more sensitive to cholinergic stimulation leading to increased spontaneous activity .
The autonomous bladder theory: alteration or exacerbation of phasic activity is generated by muscarinic stimulation .
The afferent signaling theory: spontaneous bladder contractions during filling result in increased afferent output and hence the awareness of bladder filling .
You May Like: Does Uti Cause Bladder Leakage
Seek Help From A Qualified Physical Therapist
Vaginal childbirth can damage the ligaments, nerves, and pelvic floor muscles that support the vagina, bladder and urethra. While pelvic floor exercises may help some women after birth, many need more intensive physical therapy.
Talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a qualified physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy if you have any incontinence or pain that doesnt go away after giving birth. Embarking on proper rehabilitation soon after having your baby may help you avoid more serious gynecological problems later on.
How Is Overactive Bladder Diagnosed
In most cases OAB can be diagnosed by history and physical exam and a urine analysis to rule out infection or blood in the urine. An abnormal urine analysis may prompt treatment or further testing . Sometime you doctor will check to see if your bladder is emptying well. This can be done with a small ultrasound or with a catheter). Many times, treatment can be recommended based on the information obtained from these simple things.
In some cases, a bladder diary may be recommended to help understand the severity of the condition. A bladder diary is a record kept by the patient that includes fluid intake, number or urinations, and the amount of urine with each urination.
In more complex cases further testing may be done to get a better understanding of the function and anatomy of the lower urinary tract. These tests may include:
Also Check: How To Treat A Leaky Bladder
How Is It Treated
Things to try at home
The first step in treatment will be to try some things at home, such as urinating at scheduled times. This is called bladder retraining.
You can also do special exercises called Kegels to make your pelvic muscles stronger. These muscles control the flow of urine. Doing these exercises can improve some bladder problems. It may help to work with a physiotherapist who has special training in pelvic muscle exercises.
There are other changes you can make that can help:
- Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee, tea, and sodas.
- If it bothers you to get up at night to urinate, cut down on fluids before bed. But don’t cut down on fluids at other times of the day. You need them to stay healthy.
- At night, if you have trouble getting to the toilet in time, clear a path from your bed to the bathroom. Or you could put a portable toilet by your bed.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
If your symptoms really bother you or affect your quality of life, your doctor may suggest that you try medicine along with bladder training and exercises. These medicines include:
- Drugs that calm the bladder muscles, such as oxybutynin, solifenacin, and tolterodine. They may cause side effects like dry mouth and constipation.
- Drugs that help the bladder store more urine, such as mirabegron. Side effects may include increased blood pressure, inflammation of the nose and pharynx, and urinary tract infections .
Carefully Manage Your Fluid Intake
Drinking too much fluid puts pressure on your bladder, and makes you need to urinate. Drinking too little means your urine becomes concentrated, which irritates your bladder, and leads to urinary urgency.
However, it’s important to maintain your fluid intake to avoid dehydration. You can drink slowly and throughout the day to maintain adequate hydration.
- Aim to drink four to eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
- Look at your urine and aim for a light yellow color. Dark urine is a sign that you are not drinking enough. Colorless urine is a sign of drinking too much.
- Try to drink only during the day and stop a couple of hours before you go to bed.
- Drink mainly water avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks night.
Read Also: Does Ibuprofen Irritate The Bladder
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.
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.
Also Check: How Do Doctors Test For Bladder Cancer
Try To Avoid Caffeine Carbonated Drinks Sugar Alcohol And Spicy Or Acidic Foods
- Caffeine is a diuretic which makes you need to use the bathroom more often.
- Carbonated drinks and sugar are thought to stimulate the bladder.
- Alcohol switches off the ability of your body to concentrate urine. This means you tend to urinate more dilute, watery urine, which dehydrates you. Since you are dehydrated, you may drink more.
- Acidic or spicy food may aggravate your overactive bladder and worsen your symptoms. Certain acidic fruit and juices like orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime can aggravate your bladder, too.
Drink Normal Quantities Of Fluids
It may seem sensible to cut back on the amount that you drink so the bladder does not fill so quickly. However, this can make symptoms worse as the urine becomes more concentrated, which may irritate the bladder muscle. Aim to drink normal quantities of fluids each day. This is usually about two litres of fluid per day – about 6-8 cups of fluid, and more in hot climates and hot weather.
You May Like: Bladder Control Medication For Men
Go To The Toilet Only When You Need To
Some people get into the habit of going to the toilet more often than they need. They may go when their bladder only has a small amount of urine so as “not to be caught short”. This again may sound sensible, as some people think that symptoms of an overactive bladder will not develop if the bladder does not fill very much and is emptied regularly. However, again, this can make symptoms worse in the long run. If you go to the toilet too often the bladder becomes used to holding less urine. The bladder may then become even more sensitive and overactive at times when it is stretched a little. So, you may find that when you need to hold on a bit longer , symptoms are worse than ever.
Side Effects Of Antimuscarinic Drugs And Safety Precautions
Dry mouth and constipation are the most common and bothersome side effects of antimuscarinic agents. In addition constipation may potentiate symptoms due to the effect of the presence of excessive stool in the rectal ampulla. This may decrease the bladder capacity and therefore, should constipation appear, an early use of fiber and stool softeners is recommended .
Constipation may lead to the discontinuation of medication in up to 50% of patients . Another reason for not following the recommended oral drug regime during the first 2 to 3 months may be that improvement appears gradually or only to a small degree.
Contraindications for the use of antimuscarinic agents are patients with closed angle glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, severe ulcerative colitis, a toxic megacolon, or intestinal obstruction because of their anticholinergic effects on the bowel. However, treatment decisions should be individualized and their prescription might need approval from the clinician caring for these disorders.
Compliance in using antimuscarinic may not be sufficient, as shown in a 2011 systematic review of 149 papers that found discontinuation rates of 4383% in the first 30 days of treatment, and more than half of patients never refilled the initial prescription . Regular follow-ups are important in monitoring treatment effects and adherence. All available antimuscarinic drugs come as an oral preparation.
Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Cause Overactive Bladder
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.