Almost every adult has heard the term “overactive bladder.” It is a condition marked by the inability to control the urge to urinate and at times leads to the involuntary release or loss of urine. Overactive bladder is a problem with the bladder storage function. In people with an overactive bladder (also referred to as OAB), the multi-layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder (called the detrusor muscle) contracts spastically, which results in bladder pressure and the urgent need to urinate.
Most people with an overactive bladder will feel the need to urinate at inconvenient and unpredictable times. They often will not make it to the toilet in time and will release urine in the process. Thus, overactive bladder interferes with the quality of life, disrupting work, daily routines, intimacy and sexual function.
Overactive bladder is also known as incontinence. There are many types of incontinence including urge incontinence, which is the sudden urge to urinate; stress incontinence, which occurs when the bladder is under stress such as when someone laughs, jumps, coughs or sneezes. Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder does not empty properly thus allowing leakage to occur.
Many individuals that suffer from an overactive bladder and the forms of incontinence simply do not talk about it or discuss the symptoms with their medical professional. Oftentimes, an underlying medical condition is present that is the cause of the overactive bladder and determining this cause is important so that medical attention can be sought and relief provided to the patient.
Several factors may cause or contribute to signs and symptoms similar to those of overactive bladder. These factors include:
Neurological disorders and diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes and multiple sclerosis
- Kidney diseases
- Acute and chronic urinary tract infections and bladder infections
- Bladder abnormalities such as tumors and bladder stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Excessive use of alcohol or caffeine
For most forms of incontinence, there is medical treatment that can be used to help eliminate the symptoms. Female and male incontinence treatment is available in the form of medication, biofeedback/psychotherapy, surgery and an array of other devices used to control the bladder including meshes. It can also be treated with a bladder pacemaker type device. There are some treatment opportunities that might differ between male and females, but for every person suffering from an overactive bladder, there is female and male incontinence treatment available to help.
Discuss your overactive bladder and incontinence symptoms with your urologist today. For information on female and male incontinence treatment, or to schedule an appointment at our Plano, Richardson and Frisco locations, call 972.612.8037. To schedule an appointment at our McKinney location, call 972.548.8195.