On the surface, an overactive bladder may not sound like a major issue but anyone suffering from an overactive bladder condition will soon tell you it can be very debilitating. It’s a problem that can occur more frequently with aging but it’s not something you have to put up with. An overactive bladder is not a normal condition or the way the body is meant to function.
When an overactive bladder is in play, it feels like urine could leak out at any given moment, vastly restricting the lifestyle of someone living with the problem. Those affected often suffer from embarrassment by needing to use the bathroom so often and will refrain from social activities for fear of loss of bladder control.
If you’re currently suffering from an overactive bladder or know someone who might be, let’s take a look at ways to combat an overactive bladder condition and the treatment options available.
Overactive Bladder Disorder – What Is It and What Are the Symptoms?
Also known simply as OAB, overactive bladder disorder is where the muscles of the bladder contract without the host willing them to, suddenly creating an extreme urge to urinate.
There are 5 common indicators that you may be suffering from OAB:
- Frequency – Where you need to urinate more often than normal
- Urgency – The urge to urine is so strong it’s overwhelming
- Nocturia – Meaning, you need to frequently get up at night to use the bathroom
- Incontinence – You fail to stop urine leaking from the bladder
- Urge Incontinence – Where you feel a sudden urgency to urinate and leakage also occurs
If you are suffering from OAB, or fear you are, it’s time to get the condition professionally diagnosed and treated.
Treatment Options For An Overactive Bladder
You will want to see a urologist for professional diagnosis and treatment of OAB. To find one near you, simply do an online search, such as ‘overactive bladder treatment Sydney’, for example. Your doctor may run some simple tests to determine the best treatment for your overactive bladder condition.
The problem can sometimes be resolved with bladder retraining, by drinking several litres of water per day. The patient’s goal is to refrain from using the bathroom for as long as possible each time they feel the urge to urinate. This helps to retrain those bladder muscles and return them to a more normal state. Reducing the intake of drinks containing caffeine will also help.
If a patient is suffering from stress incontinence, where any form of stress or sudden movement causes bladder leakage, treatment regimes can include reducing body weight, training the pelvic floor muscles, or even suburethral sling surgery to correct a bladder issue.
Along with bladder retraining techniques, there are some medications available that can help control an overactive bladder and are often administered along with bladder training exercises.
Bladder Botox Therapy For Combating OAB
Not every patient’s overactive bladder problem responds to the treatment methods mentioned above and if this is the case, there is the option of bladder Botox therapy.
The bladder muscles contract by chemical signalling between the muscles and the nerves and when Botox is injected into the region, it disrupts this chemical signalling, thus reducing the ability of the muscles to contract. This is not a highly invasive procedure and is done with the help of a local anaesthetic. Botox is injected directly into the bladder muscle and the procedure is completed within minutes.
Just a single Botox bladder injection can resolve overactive bladder problems and stress incontinence for up to 12 months, so it’s a procedure worth considering if other treatment methods have proven ineffective in resolving the issue.
Botox is harmless and one injection every 6 months to one year could spell the end of your OAB for good. It’s a procedure you should definitely discuss with your urologist if you’re having consistent bladder issues.
If you’re suffering from an overactive bladder, it’s not something you simply have to live with. There are effective treatment options available that will soon return your bladder to its regular state so you can start living a normal life again. Don’t put up with OAB any longer. Talk to your GP or urologist about treatment for an overactive bladder.