Always need to pee? You may have an overactive bladder
epWritten by Mr Sachin Malde for Doctify
Can’t sit through a whole film? Have to make several loo breaks on a car journey? Unable to sleep through the night? You may have an overactive bladder.
OAB can have a huge, negative impact on your life, so here to offer some advice and treatment options is Doctify Urologist Mr Sachin Malde.
So, what is overactive bladder (OAB)?
Overactive bladder (OAB) is an extremely common condition that affects men and women of all ages. The classic symptom is a sudden urge to urinate that you cannot control and this may result in leakage of urine (urge incontinence). Having to pass urine more frequently during the day or night are also symptoms of OAB.
OAB can be an extremely distressing condition and may disrupt work, social life and sleep.
What causes OAB?
Although the cause is unknown in the majority of cases, a number of conditions can lead to symptoms of OAB. These include:
- Conditions affecting the nerve supply to the bladder (such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease)
- Certain medications
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder tumours
- An enlarged prostate gland in men
- Excess intake of caffeine or alcohol
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Previous surgical procedures or radiotherapy treatment
How can OAB be treated?
OAB symptoms can be managed in a number of ways depending on the severity of your symptoms. Initially, you should modify your fluid intake to reduce bladder stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol. The technique of bladder training has been shown to improve OAB symptoms in many patients and requires specialist expertise to provide the best results.
If your symptoms are still bothersome despite the above measures, then you may be recommended to trial tablets to relax your bladder. They can be effective for many people, although may lead to some side-effects such as a dry mouth or constipation.
If tablets don’t improve your symptoms enough then there are other options for treatment such as botox injections into your bladder or inserting a pacemaker for your bladder (sacral nerve stimulation).
Bladder botox injections are performed under local anaesthetic and take 5-10 minutes to perform. They dampen down the overactive contractions and the effects typically last between 6 and 12 months before the injections need to be repeated.
Sacral nerve stimulation (sacral neuromodulation) involves inserting a small pacemaker-like device under the skin of your lower back to send electrical signals to the nerves that control your bladder and is effective in 7 out of 10 people (70%).
If you are distressed by symptoms of OAB, then don’t suffer in silence and see a specialist for further treatment.
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If you have been affected by anything mentioned here and want to know more, contact Mr Malde below.