Is your bladder taking control instead of you?
Urinary urgency and frequency and/or leaking
on the way to the bathroom is a common
condition called, overactive bladder. And while
it is common, it should not be considered normal.
An overactive bladder can force you to schedule
your life around bathrooms and pads, give up
activities you love, interrupt your work and keep
you from making plans with your family and friends.
The good news is that today there are more
options than ever for treated OAB. So if you
have tried strategies and they haven't worked....
don't give up!! Working with a specialist
urogynecologist can help find the approach
that works best for you.
Did you know that certain foods can bother your bladder and increase the risk of bladder overactivity. Foods that can contribute include those with caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, high acid levels (like oranges or tomatoes) and sugar or sweeteners. It can help to take an honest look at what goes into your bladder on a daily basis to see if there are any changes you make that could help.
It also helps to know the way fluids affect you and what you bladder pattern of voiding is. We ask all of our patients with an overactive bladder to complete a 2-day bladder diary. It can really help to see how you body reacts to different fluids and what your baseline voiding patterns are. To download a copy of our diary click here.
Just like most medical conditions, there is not a "one-size-fits all" option for everyone with an overactive bladder. Patients will need to undergo an office exam so we can check that the bladder is emptying properly and rate of flow, evaluate a urine sample for abnormalities and check the pelvic floor support and muscle function.
Assuming there is not an anatomic abnormality causing the OAB symptoms, most patients start with the most conservative approach using behavioral and diet modifications. Pelvic floor physical therapy can also added to early treatment pathways.
The next step is adding a medication for a trial period of 6-8 weeks for effect. There are numerous medications available for treatment and finding the best fit may take more than one medication for trial.
Advanced Treatment Options:
If medications are not effective, or cause undesirable side effects, we look towards or advanced treatment options . Even if a patient had not had success with medications, there is still a very high treatment success rate with today's more advanced options, including Botox and neuromodulation.
We will work with each patient on a individual level to figure out the best path to follow to treat your symptoms. We are also proud to be one of the most experienced centers in the region for advanced therapies and our able to offer both Botox treatments and testing for neuromodulation right in our office.
Botox for the Bladder:
Botox is an office based therapy in which we use medication placed directly in the bladder wall to help relax overactive bladder muscles. The office treatment typically takes under 30 minutes for the entire procedure and lasts for an average of 6-12 months. The treatment can then be repeated for ongoing relief.
Click here to learn more about Botox.
Neuromodulation with Axonics:
Neuromodulation is a therapy that gently stimulates the nerves in the pelvis that act on the bladder and bowels. Unlike Botox, which only works for an overactive bladder and urge incontinence, neuromodulation can be an effective therapy for OAB and urge incontinence, but also for patients suffering from urinary retention and bowel control conditions. This is one of the few therapies that can be tested for efficacy prior to conmitting to the treatment. Once we know the neuromodulation is a good options for a patient, we then implant a tiny battery and wire underneath the skin, which provides long-term symptoms relief without medication or repeated procedures.
Click here to learn about the latest advances in neuromodulation using Axonics.