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What Does Overactive Bladder Feel Like

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Changes In Bladder Habits Or Symptoms Of Irritation

Pacemaker-Like Device Helps Treat Overactive Bladder

Bladder cancer can sometimes cause changes in urination, such as:

  • Having to urinate more often than usual
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when your bladder isn’t full
  • Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream
  • Having to get up to urinate many times during the night

These symptoms are more likely to be caused by a urinary tract infection , bladder stones, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate . Still, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Medical And Surgical Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe drugs to relax your bladder muscle. If drugs do not help you, then the doctor may prescribe injections to relax the muscle. These injections can paralyze the bladder muscles, and prevent it from contracting quite often.

If medication and injection do not help you, then the doctor may prescribe surgery. This includes enlarging your bladder, diverting the urine to a bag outside the body, and in some cases even bladder removal.

The first step in the successful treatment of OAB is to discuss your problem with your doctor. Once your doctor clearly understands the extent of your problem and how it affects you, they can prescribe the right treatment.

Treatment Options For A Prolapsed Bladder

There are many treatment options for a prolapsed bladder. One of the most common forms of treatment, and one that many people opt for first, is physical therapy. The pelvic floor is a muscle, and just like other muscles in the body, it can be strengthened with the appropriate exercises.

A physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy can work with you to determine the extent of your prolapse, gauge the strength of your pelvic floor muscles, and set you up on a routine to ensure the pelvic floor is working as it should.

Another option for treatment is a pessary. A pessary is a small disc-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina and helps to hold things up, relieving some of the pressure and other symptoms of prolapse. A pessary may be used in conjunction with physical therapy and may be ideal for those who experience symptoms during specific activities, such as when working.

If you have a prolapsed bladder, know that you can still live a very full and active life, doing many of the same things you did prior to having a prolapse. Talk to your doctor about treatment options. A pelvic floor physical therapist is a good first step and can help you try to strengthen your muscles naturally. Beyond that, a urogynecologist is a good option for more advanced treatments.

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When To Make An Appointment

Make the call if your frequent trips are beginning to negatively affect your day. You should also contact your doctor if you have pain when peeing or notice blood in your urine. These symptoms may indicate a bacterial infection or something more serious, such as bladder cancer.

Make a doctors appointment within a day or two if you experience:

  • Change in your urine color
  • Mental health disorder
  • Side or back pain
  • Vomiting

Immediately go to the hospital if you are experiencing weakness in your legs as this could be a sign of spinal cord disorder.

What to Expect

Your primary care physician will conduct a blood test to rule out any underlying medical issues, such as diabetes, as well as a urine culture to rule out any infections.

They may also perform a rectal exam to assess the size of your prostate. Your doctor may request that you keep a diary of your eating and toilet habits as this can help rule out any lifestyle factors such as excessive caffeine consumption.

Before a diagnosis of overactive bladder can be made, they need to rule out other possible causes. For example, your doctor may prescribe an ultrasound to look for kidney stones.

Treatment is determined by the underlying cause of the problem: Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to treat any bacterial illness. They may advise you to practice pelvic exercises like Kegels.

How Common Is The Problem

Do I Have An Overactive Bladder?

Approximately 600,000 New Zealanders have bladder control problems and experience leakage of urine. Overactive bladder is one of the causes of these symptoms and it can affect both men and women. In two large studies it was found that about 1 in 6 adults reported some symptoms of an overactive bladder. Symptoms vary in their severity. About 1 in 3 people with an overactive bladder have episodes of urge incontinence.

Incontinence in particular can be embarrassing for the person and many people do not seek the help that is available, thinking that nothing can be done for them. However, most men and women with overactive bladder can be helped, so it is important to talk about any bladder problems with your doctor.

Recommended Reading: How To Fix Bladder Leakage After Pregnancy

Overactive Bladder In Men

Many cases of overactive bladder in men are caused by an enlarged prostate. The prostate may get larger with age and block the flow of urine, causing overactive bladder symptoms. However, there are numerous other factors that may be causing the issues other than prostate problems such as lifestyle and bladder stones, along with more serious conditions that affect the nervous system.

Train Your Overactive Bladder

Your bladder can be trained to hold more urine for longer. Improved muscular control can also be beneficial. Ask your doctor for a precise strategy to follow results can take up to three months. These techniques may be part of this strategy:

Maintain a bladder control journal. Keep track of how much you drink, when you urinate, as well as how much you sweat and whether its average for you or less than average, or more than average. Write down how strong your urge to urinate is on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as whether any urine spills.

Break the link between the mind and the bladder. Try modifying your schedule if you have particular behaviors, such as dashing to the bathroom as soon as you get to work or home. The desire to urinate may fade after 30 to 60 seconds.

Although urge incontinence is unpleasant, its also relatively curable. Adjustments to your habits and lifestyle can help you address them. So, take account of how often you use the restroom because if its six to eight times per day, youre OK. If its more, consult your doctor right away.

Serious Conditions That Can Cause Overactive Bladder

  • Bladder stones
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Any obstruction to the urethra
  • Gynaecological problems such as prolapse or ovarian tumours can cause bladder irritation that leads to urgency to urinate.
  • Women who have had previous surgery for stress incontinence can also be affected
  • Uncontrolled diabetes with high blood sugar may cause increased thirst and urine production
  • Men with problems caused by an enlarged prostate
  • Conditions that affect the nervous system such as Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease

What Are The Specific Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder

How to STOP BLADDER FREQUENCY | Overactive Bladder 101

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.

What Is Overactive Bladder Or Urge Incontinence

Overactive bladder, which is sometimes called urge urinary incontinence though that is really the most common symptom of OAB, is a complex of urinary symptoms:

  • The urgent and uncontrollable need to urinate often with leaking urine at these times .
  • The ongoing need to frequently urinate .
  • Waking up in the middle of the night specifically to pee .

OAB makes people feel like they gotta go suddenly and much too often.

Its a common and frustrating part of life for many men and women: About 40% of women and 30% of men have OAB symptoms, reports the Urology Care Foundation. Women over age 45 are more likely to have OAB, especially if they are entering menopause.

Many of these people dont talk about it, even with their doctor. We know that women often think OAB is uncommon and are embarrassed to discuss it, or they fear that the only treatment is surgery or there is no treatment. None of that is true.

Our physicians encourage women to seek medical attention for overactive bladder because it most often can be managed. Another reason is that it could be a symptom of another medical problem, like a UTI or diabetes.

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.

What Causes Bladder Leaks

There are two main types of urinary incontinence:

Stress incontinence

If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.

Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.

Urge incontinence

With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.

Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.

It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.

TRY IT: Keep Records

Your doctor will want to know as much as possible about your bladder leakswhen they occur, how much urine comes out, and what youre doing when leaks happen. Consider keeping a diary of when you urinate and when you have leaks, recommends Wright.

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.

Can You Stop Bladder Spasms Naturally

There are certain steps you can take to relieve the discomfort of bladder spams, and prevent leaks.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to drink extra water if youre experiencing leaks, this can actually help you in the long run, since concentrated urine can be irritating to your bladder. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure that bladder irritation is kept at bay.

A change in diet may also help relieve bladder spasms if your spasms are being caused by certain foods that you are eating. Keeping a bladder diary for a few days can help identify food or drink triggers.

If youre experiencing discomfort, try using a heating pad to relieve some of the pain from bladder spasms.

If you are experiencing leaks due to bladder spasms, you can also try incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine. These exercise, known as kegels, can help improve the muscle strength of the pelvic floor, making it easier for you to hold urine until you get to a bathroom when the urge strikes.

Whats A Bladder Spasm

Have you heard of the term bladder spasm? If you have an overactive bladder or incontinence, its likely that you have experienced them.

Bladder spasms are when the bladder muscle squeezes suddenly, without warning, making you feel like you need to empty your bladder immediately. This is one of the hallmark symptoms of Overactive Bladder the urgent and frequent needs to urinate, and can sometimes also result in urge incontinence if youre unable to make it to the bathroom in time.

What Is An Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a very common condition that affects 21 per cent of Canadian women, and 15 per cent of Canadian men aged 35 and older, according to the Canadian Continence Foundation. It causes a combination of symptoms related to involuntary urination. Here are the signs and symptoms you should know.

How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder

3 Unique Ways to Treat Overactive Bladder That You Probably Never Knew Existed

There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.

There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:

Lifestyle And Home Remedies

These lifestyle strategies may reduce overactive bladder symptoms:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, losing weight may ease your symptoms. Heavier people are also at greater risk of stress urinary incontinence, which may improve with weight loss.
  • Drink adequate amounts of fluid. Ask your doctor how much fluid you need daily. Drinking too much fluid can worsen your symptoms, but not drinking enough can make your urine become concentrated and can irritate the lining of your bladder. This increases the urge to urinate.
  • Limit foods and drinks that might irritate your bladder. Some foods and drinks that may irritate the bladder include caffeine, alcohol, tea, carbonated drinks, citrus juice and fruit, chocolate, spicy foods, and tomatoes. If any of these worsen your symptoms, it might be wise to avoid them.

How Do I Know If I Have Incontinence

The biggest tip-off that you have incontinence is if you cant always control when you pee.

But you may also have incontinence if you have the following symptoms:

  • You need to pee a lot
  • You wake up at night because you have to pee
  • You feel like you need to pee badly and that feeling comes on quickly and strongly
  • You accidentally pee when you laugh, cough, or exercise

Lots of women have some kind of urinary incontinence. In fact, one in eight women cant always control when they pee .

Many women cant control when they urinate after they give birth. But most new moms shrug these accidents off as normal. However, urinary incontinence is even one of the most common postpartum pelvic floor complications.

Even though bathroom accidents are common, that doesnt mean you cant get treatment.

Can Back Conditions Like Stenosis Cause Problems Like Incontinence And Urinary Urgency

Absent some sort of trauma, when someone starts developing back pain or numbness or tingling sensations in their lower limbs, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the first things their physician will look for. Stenosis of the spine is the result of a narrowing within the spinal column that allows abnormal pressure to be placed on the nerves that run through the spine.

Spinal stenosis is yet another one of those conditions that has its risk factor increased with age. In fact, even though younger people are susceptible due to accidents and trauma, as well as inherited potential for diseases like scoliosis, most people who develop stenosis have passed their 50th birthday. Another aspect to growing older that so many of us look forward to is the prospect of bladder issues, such as incontinence, urinary urgency and other related issues. What a lot of people do not realize is that lumbar spinal stenosis and bladder issues may be related.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder (OAB): Symptoms,Cancer, Diagnosis ...

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.

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