Understanding An Overactive Bladder

Posted on: 18 August 2021

If you find yourself needing to use the bathroom more and more often or you can't always make it to the bathroom in time, you may have an overactive bladder. An overactive bladder can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

How Does the Bladder Work?

Urine is made in the kidneys as they filter out waste. Then it travels to the bladder, which holds it until it gets so full that nerve signals tell your brain you need to use the bathroom. To release the urine, your body relaxes the urinary sphincter muscle and contracts the bladder muscles.

If there is something wrong with the nerves of the bladder, they could start to contract when your bladder isn't even full. Even though you don't need to, you suddenly feel an urgent need to urinate. The urge is often difficult to control, and you may even experience urgency incontinence. The need to urinate may also wake you at night multiple times.

What Causes an Overactive Bladder?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons your bladder may be overactive, and they aren't all easy to treat. For example, many people who suffered a stroke or experience neurological disorders like MS may suffer from overactive bladder. Diabetes, particularly uncontrolled diabetes, can also affect your bladder.

Some causes are temporary like a urinary tract infection or hormonal changes during menopause. While others can be easily treated with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine or alcohol. However, in some cases, surgery may be required, such as to remove tumors. If you take medication, talk to your doctor about the possible side effects and switching if possible.

What Treatments Are Available?

If you believe you have an overactive bladder, your doctor will test it by measuring how much urine is left in the bladder after urination, the urine flow rate, and the bladder pressure. If tests show your bladder is overactive, treatment can begin, but there are many treatments to consider. Naturally, the right treatment for you largely depends on the cause of your overactive bladder.

Some people do well with behavioral therapies like pelvic floor muscle exercises, biofeedback, and bladder training. Some medications can be used to help relax the bladder, but nerve stimulation may be necessary in some patients to better control the nerve impulses.

If you frequently use the bathroom, have to wake up at night to use the bathroom, and have problems controlling your bladder when you have to go, you may have an overactive bladder. Treatment is possible, but it depends on the cause. If you would like to know more, contact a specialist in your area today.