Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder is a problem with the storage function of the bladder. This problem causes a sudden urge to urinate. Often times, this urge is difficult to stop, which leads to an involuntary loss of urine, also known as incontinence.

Women may experience frequency and nocturia (needing to frequently get up at night the void).

The prevalence of OAB varies from 16-43%, and it affects more women than men. The prevalence of OAB increases with age.

Some women may experience urinary urgency incontinence. This is sudden leakage that cannot be stopped. This can be very distressing for women.

Overactive bladder can usually be diagnosed after a thorough history evaluation from the physician.

Diagnosis
  • In-office exam for physical and history evaluation, as well as a urinalysis.
  • Post-void residuals
Treatment
First Line:
  • Behavioral therapies (bladder training, bladder control strategies, pelvic floor training)
  • Pharmacological management
Second Line:
  • Medications- these are several medications that a physician may try, but some of the side effects of the medications may dictate which medications may be used.
Third Line:
  • Botox- This is an In-office treatment, that uses Botox to calm that nerves that trigger the overactive bladder muscles, that cause incontinence.
  • Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation- a needle electrode is used to send an electrical pulse to the Tibial nerve, in an attempt to stimulate the nerve, to decrease the frequency of urination.
  • Sacral Nerve Stimulation- This is a non-invasive procedure that involves sending electric pulses through externally attached electrode pads, to the sacral nerve.
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