Overactive Bladder

Illustration of the human bladder

Definition of Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder (OAB) causes the involuntary loss of urine due to a sudden urge to go when the bladder cannot properly store urine.

Women are more likely than men to suffer from an Overactive Bladder due to changes in estrogen and weakened pelvic floor muscles after experiencing menopause, pregnancy, and/or menstruation.

Overactive Bladder often goes untreated due to lack of awareness. However, when diagnosed, OAB can be helped quickly, greatly affecting quality of life.

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

If you are unsure whether you should contact a doctor, here are some symptoms to look for in an Overactive Bladder:

  • Frequently needing to use the bathroom, or frequent sudden urges to urinate
  • Waking up two or more times a night to use the bathroom
  • Inability to control urine accompanied with involuntary leaking

Contributing Factors to an Overactive Bladder

  • Neurological diseases including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis, affecting the nerve signals to the bladder
  • Changes in estrogen levels due to pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles due to pregnancy or hysterectomy
  • Decreased ability to store urine in bladder (mostly from aging)
  • Excess weight gain, which can weaken and stretch the pelvic floor muscles and add pressure to the bladder
  • Trauma to the pelvis or abdomen region caused by surgery, a physical accident
  • Diets low in fiber, high in alcohol or caffeine consumption, and full of acidic foods can all aggravate an Overactive Bladder

Treating an Overactive Bladder

Once we determine the cause of your Overactive Bladder, we will proceed with treatment. Below are some that we may recommend:

  • Anticholinergic medications to block the chemical acetylcholine, which is responsible for telling you bladder to contract and release urine
  • Beta-3 adrenergic medications are used to relax the bladder, helping it hold more urine, along with decreases the urge and frequency of voiding
  • Flavoxate issued to reduce bladder spasms
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises are Kegels, which strengthen the muscles that control your bladder and can be done anytime, even while you are at home or work
  • Weight loss may be recommended to reduce pressure on your bladder
  • Adjusting fluid consumption along with scheduling your drinks throughout the day
  • Botox is injected directly into bladder tissue, helping to control the bladder. It’s a short procedure that most patients tolerate well
  • Nerve Stimulation to strengthen the muscles needed for bladder control

Surgery is a last resort when patients do not respond to other treatments. Surgery can include removal and reconstruction or increasing bladder capacity.

Overactive Bladder is a very common condition, affecting two out of five women. An Overactive Bladder is nothing to be embarrassed about, and certainly should not be worried about. Contact our team for comfortable treatment of your Overactive Bladder.

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