Over Active Bladder

Over Active Bladder

Over active bladder (OAB) is a condition that causes sudden and strong urges to urinate even when your bladder is not full. It can be frustrating and cause many problems in your day-to-day life.

It may interfere with sleep, work, and exercise. It can also affect your social life and sex life.

Symptoms

Overactive bladder causes a sudden, strong urge to urinate and can trigger involuntary leakage of urine (urinary incontinence). The symptoms may be difficult for you to understand and can have a negative impact on your daily life.

Your doctor can diagnose overactive bladder with a physical examination and tests. These include a voiding diary for a number of days and a urinalysis.

What’s more, your doctor may also order cystoscopy, an exam that allows a lighted scope to be inserted through your urethra into your bladder. This test can help detect bladder stones or tumors.

You can also make changes to your diet and lifestyle to reduce the symptoms of OAB. Keeping a food log can help you determine which foods or drinks are causing the problem. For example, avoiding caffeine can be helpful.

Diagnosis

Overactive bladder is a common urinary condition that affects at least 40 percent of American women. It’s more common in men, too, but many men don’t report symptoms to their doctor.

There are several factors that can contribute to OAB, including certain neurological conditions, nerve damage, stimulants like alcohol and caffeine and medication. But the main cause is involuntary muscle contractions in your bladder wall.

Your doctor can diagnose OAB with a careful history, physical exam and urine test. They may also do a cystoscopy, a lighted scope that allows them to see inside your bladder.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend medications or injections to help calm the muscles that control your bladder. Your doctor can also suggest physical therapy and pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control when you urinate. If the medication or treatments don’t work, they might recommend a surgical procedure called augmentation cystoplasty. These procedures replace parts of the bowel to improve bladder capacity.

Treatment

There is no one-treatment-fixes-all answer to overactive bladder, but many people can find relief with a combination of treatment options. These include behavioral approaches, medication and surgery.

A doctor can help you decide which approach will work best for you. In most cases, medications are the first option to try.

Other treatments may include bladder retraining, Kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle therapy. These help the bladder muscles become conditioned to empty on a regular basis and reduce the frequency of bathroom visits.

Some patients also receive nerve stimulation, which sends mild electrical impulses through a wire near the sacral nerves in the lower back. This is a minimally invasive treatment that has been proven effective in some patients.

A healthcare provider may recommend this if other therapies don't work for you or your symptoms are getting worse. A trial of a wire is placed under the skin in your lower back and connected to a device that delivers comfortable stimulation to the nerve. If you notice improvement, a permanent electrode is implanted to deliver continuous stimulation.

Prevention

An overactive bladder occurs when the nerve signals between the brain and the bladder don’t work properly. This can cause the bladder to contract and pass urine before the bladder is full.

Medications and alcohol can also trigger the urge to urinate. Eating a high-fibre diet and limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol, or fluid in general can reduce the symptoms of overactive bladder.

The risk of overactive bladder can increase in some people with health conditions such as dementia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, or stroke. It can also be caused by certain medications, such as diuretics (water pills) and some medications used to treat psychiatric conditions.

OAB can have a negative impact on your quality of life, especially when it interferes with your sleep, social and exercise routines, and sex activities. It can also be embarrassing. Talking to your doctor and continence advisor can help you find the right treatment to relieve OAB symptoms.

Incontinence Underwear

The use of incontinence pads, adult diapers, and a range of devices to help with urinary incontinence can make life easier for people who have this condition. They can prevent accidents, control odor, and reduce skin irritation.

A wide range of products are available for people with urinary incontinence and spotting, as well as for children. Some are reusable, while others are disposable.

 

Pads and pull-up pants are the most popular types of incontinence underwear, although a growing number of specialized briefs for men are also available. They are made from absorbent materials and have a "hydrophobic" layer that draws urine away from the surface so that your skin stays dry.

Under pads, and reusable bed pads are also a common type of absorbent incontinence product. They can be purchased from medical supply stores, larger department stores, or online.

Plastic urinals are another helpful option for people who have urge incontinence, which can make getting to the bathroom difficult. These urinals come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are often kept near the bed or in the car for use if getting to the bathroom isn't an option.

External catheters and drainage bags are other urinary incontinence products that can help. They are often rolled on like condoms and send urine through a tube into a drainage bag.

Male guards and pads are also useful for managing leakage in men with mild urinary incontinence. These pads have a higher front ridge to catch and absorb leaks quickly.