Overactive Bladder

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?

Overactive bladder is the name of a group of urinary symptoms with the most common symptom being a sudden, uncontrolled need or urge to urinate. Some people will leak urine when they feel this urge.
Having to urinate many times during the day and night is another symptom.

What causes OAB?

Neurologic disorders and hormone changes play a role in OAB. It can happen when nerve signals in your brain tell your bladder to empty, even when it isn’t full or when the muscles in your bladder are too active. Your bladder muscles contract to pass urine before they should cause sudden strong urge to urinate.

Who is at risk?

OAB is common. It affects over 30 million Americans. As many as 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms.

As you grow older, you are at higher risk for OAB. Women who have gone through menopause have a higher than normal risk. Men who have had prostate problems also seem to have an increased risk. People with disease that affect the brain or nervous system, such as stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS), are also at risk.

Treatment Options

Lifestyle modifications:

  • Avoid diuretics including caffeine and alcohol which encourage your body to make more urine.
  • Foods and drinks that may affect your bladder include coffee/caffeine, tea, alcohol, soda and other fizzy drinks, some citrus fruits, tomato-based foods, chocolate, and some spicy foods.
  • Double voiding which is when you empty your bladder twice. After you go to the bathroom, you wait a few seconds and then go again.
  • Timed urination or timed voiding. Follow a daily bathroom schedule. Instead of going when you feel the urge, you go at set times during the day. Try every 1-2 hrs. The goal is to prevent the urge feeling.
  • “Quick flick” exercises where you quickly squeeze and relax your pelvic floor muscles over and over again. When you feel the urge to go, a number of quick flicks may help control that “gotta go” feeling.
  • Losing weight can help.

Prescription Medications:

Medications that relax the bladder muscle to stop it from contracting at the wrong times and increase bladder capacity.

  • Anticholinergics including Oxybutinin 5-15 mg , Vesicare (solifenacin)5-10 mg, Toviaz (fesoterodine) 4-8 mg , and Tolterodine (Detrol LA) 2-4 mg
  • Beta-3 Agonists including Myerbetriq 25 mg and 50 mg
  • Combination therapy with a Beta-3 agonist and an anticholinergic

Bladder Botox Treatments:

Works by relaxing the muscle of the bladder wall to reduce urinary urgency and urge incontinence.

Nerve stimulation:

This sends electrical pulses that help the brain and the nerves to the bladder communicate so the bladder can function properly and improve symptoms.

Bladder reconstruction / urinary diversion surgery:

Augmentation cystoplasty enlarges the bladder and urinary diversion re-routs the flow of ruin. Surgery is a last resort and is rarely used.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions or concerns.

References: Overactive Bladder-Frequently Asked Questions. (2019). Urology Care Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2020. https://www.urologyhealth.org/educational-materials/overactive-bladder-frequently-asked-questions

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)? (2019). Urology Care Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2020. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/overactive-bladder-(oab)