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Overactive Bladder

What is an Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder is a condition where the muscles in the bladder contract involuntarily,  even when the volume of urine in the bladder is low, and create a frequent urge to urinate. The urge is difficult to control and if the bladder is not emptied immediately, there will be an involuntary loss of urine.  Overactive bladder is not a disease in itself but a symptom.

What causes an Overactive Bladder?

The risk of overactive bladder increases with age. Some more factors that raise the risk are:

  • Acute urinary tract infections
  • Neurological disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormalities in bladder
  • Medicines that increase the production of urine
  •  Consumption of alcohol and caffeine
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

What are the symptoms of an Overactive Bladder?

Here are a few characteristics of an Overactive Bladder condition:

  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Sudden urge to urinate
  • Leakage of urine
  • Need to urinate more than once per night

How is Overactive Bladder diagnosed?

The aim of overactive bladder diagnosis is to identify the cause. When the patient complains of this condition, the doctor conducts the following tests:

Physical Examination

The doctor checks for abdominal and genital disabilities

Urine Test

Urine tests reveal the presence of infections if any.

Urodynamic Test

Measuring urine left in the bladder, urine flow rate and bladder pressure helps diagnose the underlying conditions.

What are the treatments of Overactive Bladder?

If the cause of overactive bladder is not a serious disease, the condition can be managed with a few behavioral changes. Doing pelvic floor muscle exercises, maintaining the healthy weight, bladder training and scheduled toilet trips can correct the condition. In severe cases, the following treatments are recommended:

Medication

Medications help relieve symptoms of overactive bladder

Bladder Injections

Botox, a protein from a bacteria is injected into bladder tissue to partially paralyze the muscles.

Nerve Stimulation

To control the activity of the bladder, the nerve impulses are regulated using a battery controlled device.

Surgery

A surgery to increase the bladder capacity or to remove the bladder are conducted in cases where the other treatments have been ineffective.

 

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