Overactive Bladder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
The most common bladder control problem we treat is overactive bladder (OAB). Having an overactive bladder can negatively affect your daily life, as the frequent and urgent need to find a bathroom can create stress and anxiety at work, home, and social settings.
Overactive Bladder Symptoms
OAB can be defined as a patient having one or more of the following symptoms:
- Frequency – eight or more visits to the toilet per day
- Nocturia – 2 or more visits to the toilet per night
- Urgency – a sudden, strong urge to urinate
- Leakage – sudden, involuntary loss of urine
You don’t need to experience all of the symptoms above to have overactive bladder – just having one symptom may be enough for a diagnosis.
Overactive Bladder Causes
Overactive bladder can be caused by an overactivity of nerve signals between the bladder and the brain. When the normal bladder fills, it sends a nerve signal to the brain letting the brain know it’s full. The brain then sends a signal back to the bladder, giving it a little squeeze. This is the normal sensation you feel letting you know when you need to go. As the bladder continues to fill, these signals increase until you use the bathroom, at which point the normal bladder contracts and empties.
For many patients with overactive bladder, as the bladder begins to fill but isn’t at capacity yet, it’s already sending nerve signals to the brain telling the brain it’s full. The brain, thinking the bladder is overfilling, begins signaling to your bladder that it needs to empty. These abnormal nerve signals continue to intensify, resulting in miscommunication between the bladder and the brain that can cause symptoms of overactive bladder such as urinary leakage, urgency, and frequency.
Overactive Bladder Treatment
For many patients, overactive bladder is a nerve problem rather than a muscle problem, so it’s vital for miscommunications between the bladder and the brain to be addressed when discussing treatment options.
Overactive bladder is one of the most common conditions treated by Dr. Taylor. Thanks to InterStim® Therapy, a minimally invasive procedure that has been FDA approved since 1997, Dr. Taylor has been able to successfully treat overactive bladder in many of his patients.
It might not be easy to talk about, but if your overactive bladder is affecting your life, schedule a consult with Dr. Taylor to talk about your overactive bladder problem today.