Urge Urinary Incontinence
Overactive Bladder, also known as OAB or urge incontinence, occurs when a person experiences a sudden and frequent urge to urinate that may also be accompanied by urine leakage. This happens because the bladder muscles contract at inappropriate times, regardless of how much urine has collected in the bladder. It can happen to anyone at any age, although it is most common in women and the elderly.
Treatment of Overactive Bladder
Treatment for overactive bladder depends on the type and severity of symptoms, the underlying cause, and the patient’s and doctor’s preferences. In general, the types of treatment used are:
- Medication – To help relax the muscles of the bladder.
- Bladder Retraining – To manage urge incontinence, electrical stimulation and biofeedback may be used with bladder retraining.
- Kegel Exercises – Pelvic exercises may be used to strengthen pelvic muscles.
- Surgery – Patients who are severely affected by their overactive bladder and incontinence may require surgery to increase bladder storage and decrease pressure in the bladder. This can be done through a minimally invasive surgery called sacral neuromodulation. Small wires are placed to stimulate the bladder nerves leading to better urinary control. Another option is the injection of botulinum toxin into the bladder which can also be an effective treatment for urge incontinence.
An overactive bladder can be a chronic problem. While it can be treated, patients should continue to see their physicians to evaluate progress and monitor for possible complications.