What is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive Bladder | Pacific Urology | San Francisco Bay AreaOveractive Bladder is when the bladder muscle squeezes too often or when you don’t want it to. It can be a nuisance and affects your quality of life.  It may cause depression and inhibits people from enjoying social activities.

Symptoms include:

  • Going to the bathroom more than 8 times in a 24hour period.
  • Waking up at night to go to the bathroom-  more than 2 times.
  • Having strong, sudden urges to urinate especially when associated with certain triggers for example ” key in the lock”
  • Having wetting accidents – may be very small to large amounts in volume.

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder (OAB) often are preceded by Urgency which is the sudden and compelling desire to urinate that is difficult to overcome. In some cases may lead to incontinence.

Causes of overactive bladder. Symptoms may increase with dietary irritants such as, Caffeine intake, Carbonated beverages, spicy or citrus foods, Artificial Sweeteners and Alcohol.

Presence of a urinary tract infection, chronic anxiety, learned voiding dysfunction, For women lack of estrogen.

Pelvic Floor weakness also has contributing factors and certain neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or injury.

Fortunately there are several options to choose from in effort to help get relief from OAB. Sometimes it may take a combination of treatments.

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Options for Treatment may include:

Pelvic Floor Therapy or Rehab- (kegels)- By performing quick flicks this will help calm the urge and strengthen the muscles that help hold urine in the bladder.

Bladder Training– Retraining your bladder by delaying urination so you are voiding every 3-4 hours during the day. Gradually increasing the time between voiding. Use of distraction and deep breathing is helpful.

Lifestyle Changes- Watching what you are drinking.( Avoid too much or too little)  Increasing water intake and limiting caffeine, alcohol, citrus drinks and fruits, imitation sweeteners, carbonated drinks, and spicy foods. Also watching your weight and stop smoking.

Avoid constipation- Increasing fluid intake and having regular bowel movements.

PTNS-The Urgent PC Neuromodulation System provides non-drug, non-surgical treatment for Overactive Bladder (OAB) symptoms. This treatment is sometimes referred to as percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS).

Medications- There are several medications you can try.

Interstim- Neuromodulation therapy that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder

Botox- Helps prevent the chemical messenger acetylcholine from signaling the bladder muscles, reducing the over activity of the bladder muscle.