Overactive Bladder

What is an Overactive Bladder?

An overactive bladder is characterized by the frequent urgency to urinate. It can become increasingly difficult to control, and it can result in urinary incontinence, embarrassment and seclusion. Involuntary contraction of the bladder muscles can cause the sudden need to urinate. The bladder feels full, even when it might contain very little urine. In addition to age-related cognitive degeneration, the causes of an overactive bladder are numerous. Although a definitive cause is not always found, it may be caused by:

  • Diabetes
  • Neurological condition
  • Kidney disease
  • Prostate problems
  • High fluid consumption
  • Certain medications
  • Bladder conditions, abnormalities or disease
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Caffeine
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Inability to fully empty the bladder
  • Constipation

What are the Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder?

The symptoms of an overactive bladder vary from one individual to the next, but it may include:

  • Getting out of bed to urinate twice or more each night
  • Urinating eight or more times in a 24-hour period
  • Urgent need to urinate with or without loss of bladder control

How is an Overactive Bladder Treated?

An overactive bladder can greatly affect quality of life, but a number of potentially helpful treatment options are available. They may include:

  • Pelvic floor strengthening exercises (male or female specific)
  • Weight loss
  • Avoidance of alcohol, caffeine and other foods and beverages that irritate the bladder
  • Catheter use
  • Bladder therapy
  • Absorbent pad use
  • Fluid intake scheduling
  • Medication to decrease feelings of urgency
  • Botox bladder injections
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Bladder reconstruction surgery
  • Bladder removal with internal replacement or stoma and external bag