Overactive bladder also known as urge incontinence is the second most common type of incontinence. When someone can’t control the urge to urinate or urinates involuntarily, this person has an overactive bladder.
An overactive bladder contracts involuntarily, leading to the release of large amounts of urine. This is caused by a problem with the messages between the bladder and the brain. The bladder may tell the brain it is full too early, the bladder muscle squeezes and empties the bladder completely – often before you have a chance to get to a toilet.
The first thing to do when you notice the above symptoms is to seek help; this condition is treatable if diagnosed early.
Common questions asked by the doctor include:
• How many times do you urinate during the day?
• How often do you urinate after going to sleep?
• Are you awakened by the urge to urinate, and if so, how often?
• When you have a strong urge to urinate, do you leak urine on the way to the toilet, and if so, how often?
• Do you use incontinence pads, and if so, how many do you use daily?
• Does the problem prevent or affect any activity?
Don’t’ be surprised if your doctor asks you to keep a dairy of your urinating habits.
There are different ways for managing OAB. They include medicines, behavioural interventions and surgery.
Treatment methods will depend on the severity of the condition, and the extent to which it affects the patient’s quality of life.
In general patients with an overactive bladder are treated with a combination of drugs and behavioural interventions like pelvic floor exercises.
Above all, overactive bladder or urge incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of and it is treatable, so stop suffering in silence.