Overactive bladder occurs when abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong time, causing its muscles to squeeze without warning. Voiding up to seven times a day is normal for many women, but women with overactive bladder may find that they must urinate even more frequently. Specifically, the symptoms of overactive bladder include:
- Urinary frequency – bothersome urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
- Urinary urgency – the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
- Urge incontinence – leakage or gushing of urine that follows a sudden, strong urge
- Nocturia – awaking at night to urinate
Overactive Bladder Symptoms
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of common bladder control problems, it’s time to see a bladder incontinence specialist who may ask you to fill out a symptom tracker to get a better idea of your daily experience and help confirm your diagnosis.
Symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB) include:
- Going before you reach the bathroom
- Experiencing frequent leaks
- Using pads or protective garments
- Frequent, uncontrollable urge to go
- Going more than 8 times a day
- Feeling like your bladder is never empty
Symptoms of urinary retention include:
- Can’t tell if your bladder is full
- Holding increasingly large amounts of urine
- Weak or dribbling stream
- Needing to use a catheter
There are many ways to manage bladder control problems. Remember, if conservative treatments don’t deliver the results you need, you have more options.
Conservative treatments can help some people, but may not work very well (or at all) for others. All of these are relatively simple behavioral changes that you may already be doing.
- Diet and exercise: Changes may include decreasing your caffeine intake and getting more exercise.
- Bladder retraining: Also called biofeedback, this involves delaying going to the bathroom and sticking to a strict schedule.
- Pelvic floor strengthening: This can be accomplished through Kegel exercises, which involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor.
When lifestyle changes fail to deliver the results you want, oral medications are the next step. These medications can help control symptoms but may cause other issues.
You have to remember to take these medications every day. Some side effects can be unpleasant, such as dry mouth, blurry vision, constipation, and hypertension. Other side effects are more serious. In fact, limited study data suggests that one class of drugs for OAB (anticholinergics) may increase risk of dementia in elderly people.1 Even more important, these medications don’t always work. In one survey, 72% of people said they stopped taking their medication after just six months.
If conservative treatments don’t deliver the results you want, you have more options.
Products and Resources – Rx
General Adult Urology
BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) Drugs
- FLOMAX – Tamsulosin
- AVODART – Dutasteride
- JALYN – Dutasteride and Tamsulosin HCI
- RAPAFLO – Silodosin
- ANDROGEL – Testosterone Gel
- AXIRON – Testosterone Topical Solution
- FORTESTA – Testosterone Gel
- TESTIM – Testosterone Gel
Minimally Invasive Technologies for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
- CoreTherm – Thermal Therapy for BPH
- Prolieve – A technology that treats the symptoms of enlarged prostate (or BPH) in men
- TherMatrx – Office Thermo Therapy: The Safe and Effective Office-Based Solution for BPH
- GreenLight – Laser Therapy for the Treatment of BPH