Treating Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is the strong and sudden urge to urinate both day and night. Overactive bladder is a very common condition, especially with older adults. These urges occur even when there is little urine in the bladder, and can cause a lot of inconvenience, disruption and embarrassment throughout the day. People with overactive bladder also complain of sleeping problems, depression, and frequent urinary tract infections. Luckily, there are many treatment options available to reduce and even eliminate symptoms of overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder is a type of urge incontinence. It may also lead to urine leakage or incontinence in some cases. Overactive bladder is caused by an overactive muscle in the bladder, which causes the bladder to contract so that you have the urge to urinate. There are many reasons why the bladder muscle may be overactive, such as bladder infection, stress, certain medications, or an underlying medical problem.
The primary symptoms of overactive bladder include an urgent need to urinate, the need to urinate often, waking up to urinate two or more times each night, the need to urinate after you have just gone to the bathroom, taking many trips to the bathroom but only urinating a little each time, and leaking urine when you have the urge to urinate. Some people only experience one of these symptoms, while others may experience all of them.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor at Somerset Urological Associates to get a diagnosis. Overactive bladder is diagnosed after your doctor performs a physical exam. This usually includes questions about your diet and fluid consumption, how many times you urinate, and if you are experiencing leakage. Doctors usually recommend patients keep a bladder diary for a few days. This is where you can record your urination and leakage patterns, making the diagnosis much easier. The doctor may also perform a few tests such as pelvic and rectal exams, a urine test, and a blood test.
Treatments for overactive bladder vary. The first step in usually to try at-home treatments. One of these treatments is called bladder retraining, where you will create a schedule with your doctor of when you can urinate. Kegel are another exercise to try at home, an exercise where you stop and start when urinating. This exercise strengthens the pelvic muscles and may relieve your issues. Other patients are urged to cut back on caffeinated drinks, cut down on fluids before going to sleep, and achieving a healthy weight.
Medications are another treatment option if natural therapies are unsuccessful. Medicines prescribed are used to calm the bladder muscles so that you feel less of an urge to urinate. Botox therapy is another option. Botox is a shot you get every few months that relaxes the bladder muscles. Side effects of the Botox shot include having pain when you urinate, not being able to urinate easily, and urinary tract infection. Acupuncture therapy has also been reported to ease symptoms of overactive bladder.
With all of the treatment options available at Somerset Urological Associates, you do not have to live an uncomfortable life. Make an appointment today to address your overactive bladder symptoms so that you can have one less thing to stress about. Call us at 908-927-0300. Somerset Urological Associates is located in Somerville, NJ.