are the symptoms of overactive bladder?
above, sudden, frequent urges is one symptom of overactive
bladder. The person will also find they have to urinate more
frequently than normal and she may also have problems with
incontinence, or leaking urine. Below is a list of specific
symptoms of overactive bladder.
more than 12 times a day
up 2 or more times at night to urinate
- a sudden and immediate need to urinate
urine may also occur
causes overactive bladder?
bladder occurs when the brain mistakenly sends a signal to
the nerves in the bladder telling it that there is a need
to urinate when the bladder is not full. Women may feel this
urge to urinate when there is actually not much urine in the
bladder. This signal from the brain tells the bladder to contract
the bladder and relax the urinary sphincter to allow for urination.
should I do if I think I have overactive bladder?
your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor will want to take
a thorough history, perform a medical exam, and she may run
lab work or other diagnostic testing. These symptoms may be
indicative of another medical problem and not overactive bladder.
Urgency can be a symptom of a urinary tract infection particularly
if there is burning upon urination. Your doctor will want
to rule this out. If you have noticed an increase in urination
with excessive amounts of urine and an increase in thirst,
this may be a symptom of diabetes mellitus.
of your medical workup, your doctor may ask you to keep a
voiding diary. She will ask you to keep track of the time
you void, amount of fluid taken in, amount of urine put out,
whether you have been able to stay dry (no leakage), and any
activities you may have been doing. She may also ask you to
keep track of your diet to see if there might be any dietary
options for overactive bladder
your doctor has diagnosed overactive bladder, there
are many treatment options.
therapy may include kegel exercises, also known as pelvic
floor exercises and bladder retraining. Kegel exercises
are simple to do, however, many women do have difficulty
telling whether they are doing them correctly (see side
box for instructions on Kegel exercises). Bladder retraining
will involve timing urination and gradually increasing
the time between voiding. This may help strengthen the
such as Ditropan and Detrol may be prescribed to help
with overactive bladder. These medications work by blocking
the signal from the brain that causes the frequent urges
to urinate. These medications do have side effects.
The most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation.
There are also some other medications that work a little
differently and help relax the bladder and strengthen
the muscles of the urethra. As with all medications,
consult your doctor to see if this medication is right
Identify the pelvic floor muscles. This can be done
by stopping the flow of urine while voiding. You may
also insert a finger into the vagina and tighten the
muscles this way.
Kegels are done by tightening the pelvic floor muscles
for ten to fifteen seconds and then relaxing for ten
to fifteen seconds. Repeat this for ten repetitions.
Start with doing this once or twice a day and try and
increase to 3 or 4 times a day.
cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. This is usually
a last resort effort if behavioral therapy and medications
do not show improvement.
medicine and diet
may be of benefit to people with overactive bladder. One study
has shown improvement in symptoms of overactive bladder with
four weekly treatments of acupuncture.
changes may also help with symptoms of overactive bladder.
Avoiding caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea
may help. Caffeine is a known bladder irritant and may increase
your need to void more frequently.
treatment is right for everyone. Your doctor will be able
to work with you to decide which treatment is best for you.