What to Know About Overactive Bladder

Like the name suggests, an overactive bladder is a bladder that does more than it should. The normal functioning of a bladder is that as urine drains from the kidneys to fill the bladder, nerve signals in the brain communicate the need to discharge the urine. The urge to urinate grows gradually so a person can delay the passage of urine for a while. During the discharge of urine, the bladder contracts, letting out the urine through the urethra.

An overactive bladder contracts suddenly and involuntarily, so a patient cannot hold the urine. It also contracts often, even when it contains just a little urine. This forces the patient to take numerous bathroom breaks. Due to the frequency and suddenness of the contractions, an overactive bladder is known to cause the leaking of urine, otherwise known as urine incontinence. It affects both men and women.

Causes of an Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder cannot be attributed to one single cause or factor. In most cases, it is caused by a combination of factors. These include:

1. Serious case of a urinary tract infection;

2. A neurological disorder that damages the communication of nerves in the brain and in the bladder;

3. Bladder complications such as bladder stones or tumors;

4. Stroke and multiple sclerosis;

5. Acute urine retention. When urine is retained in the bladder for long, there is no longer space for storage of urine. This may result in an overactive bladder;

6. Pelvic organ prolapse in women and benign prostate hyperplasia in men; and

7. Diabetes.

Social and Emotional Impact of an Overactive Bladder

Patients with an overactive bladder often worry a great deal about stigma. They find the frequent bathroom visits embarrassing and the fear of leaking urine in any social or work environment can be debilitating. These fears affect the normal day to day life of a patient and make it necessary to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment of an Overactive Bladder

A patient can receive treatment in the form of medication, injections and in few cases, minimally invasive surgical procedures. Very often these treatment options are combined with physical therapy and behavioral modifications. Such modifications include:

1. Kegel exercises. These are administered to help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor;

2. Exercise aimed at achieving and maintaining a healthy weight;

3. Going on scheduled bathroom visits; and

4. Use of absorbent pads.

An overactive bladder is manageable and treatable. In order to avoid the difficulties that accompany the condition, it is advisable to seek the help of a qualified urologist for a proper diagnosis followed up by efficient treatment. Our team of experts at St. Pete Urology can help with any questions, as well as diagnosis and treatment of an overactive bladder. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

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St Pete Urology is a team of medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and conditions. We offer quality care with compassion. For an appointment, call us at (727) 478-1172