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Did you know that 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States have overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms? Sadly, many people avoid seeking help out of embarrassment or the misconception that OAB is just a part of getting older.
Yet, having an overactive bladder can interfere with your daily activities and prevent you from doing things you enjoy. Thus, it is crucial to consider overactive bladder treatments to ease symptoms.
Would you like to know what treatment options doctors use to help patients with bladder incompetence? If so, keep reading as we share information about several!
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you suffer from an overactive bladder, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is one of the best steps you can take to stop the bladder’s involuntary contractions.
Kegel exercises do just that, and your doctor or physical therapist can show you how to perform them correctly. But, of course, you will need to do Kegels regularly for the best results.
Excess body weight can place pressure on your abdominal muscles and bladder. Thus, your overactive bladder symptoms may worsen if you are overweight. Thankfully, losing even a few pounds can lessen the need for urgent urination.
Bladder training can help you take less frequent trips to the restroom, especially if you are consistent. For example, instead of going as soon as you feel the urge, you can wait 10-15 minutes. Then, you should work your way up to urinating only once every three to four hours.
However, this method may not be suitable for all patients, especially those who cannot contract their pelvic floor muscles.
Sometimes, doctors prescribe medications that relax the bladder. These medications reduce urges that cause incontinence. Some examples include Myrbetriq (Mirabegron), Tolterodine (Detrol), and Darifenacin (Enablex).
Although Botox injections are most common in cosmetic treatments, they can relax bladder muscles, preventing urination urges.
Botox injections for incontinence usually last at least six months. After that, another round of injections is necessary.
Another way to relieve overactive bladder symptoms is by regulating the nerve impulses to the bladder. A minimally invasive procedure makes this possible by placing a thin wire near the sacral nerves that convey signals to your bladder. Like a pacemaker, a battery-powered generator then delivers electrical impulses to the bladder.
Surgery is an option in cases where patients have severe symptoms and don’t respond to other treatments. The goal of surgeries is to reduce the pressure placed on the bladder and its ability to hold urine. Yet, surgeries don’t treat bladder discomfort.
One such surgery uses pieces of the bowel to replace part of the bladder. However, patients most often need to use a catheter long-term or for the rest of their life.
As a last resort, doctors may recommend bladder removal. Patients who opt for this surgery will need to use a neobladder, a bag that collects urine through an opening in the body.
Talk to Your Doctor about Overactive Bladder Treatments
If your overactive bladder is interfering with your life, it’s time to take action! Now that you know about the overactive bladder treatments available, talk to your doctor and get help deciding which is right for you.
And if you would like to learn more health and wellness tips, check out more content on our blog!