Bladder control is something almost everyone learns at a very young age. Like learning to walk or use objects with our hands, it comes down to training our brain to operate specific parts of our body. In the case of the bladder, your brain sends nerve signals to the muscles surrounding your bladder.
When you need to hold your urine, you contract these muscles. When you’re ready to go to the bathroom, you loosen these muscles. Soon, you reach a point where your body does most of this work automatically.
However, these signals can sometimes get mixed up, resulting in difficulties over controlling your bladder. If you feel sudden and strong urges to urinate, and/or you’re urinating more often than usual throughout the day, you may have an overactive bladder (OAB).
What is an Overactive Bladder?
OAB is a form of urinary incontinence. It happens when the muscles surrounding your bladder involuntarily contract, creating a sensation that you need to go to the bathroom even if your bladder isn’t full. This can result in discomfort, along with a fear that you may have an accident.
Typical symptoms for OAB include:
- Sudden urges to urinate (sometimes accompanied with leakage)
- Awakening 2-3 times or more during the night to urinate
- Urinating 10 times or more in a 24-hour period
The exact amount of times you urinate throughout the day can vary depending on your size, what your diet looks like, and how much water you drink. If you’re an athlete drinking a gallon or more of water a day, urinating 10+ times may not be abnormal. For most people, however, it is.
Regardless, if you’re struggling to control your urine and you feel a constant need to go to the bathroom, it’s important that you see a doctor. Like any form of incontinence, OAB is not normal.
For a proper diagnosis of urinary conditions and effective treatment, you should ultimately see a urologist. Virtually every type of incontinence is treatable, but it must first be properly diagnosed. For some, treatment can be as simple as dietary changes and exercises. If those don’t fully fix the problem, other treatment options are available.
For OAB, medications and even Botox can be used for treatment. For a more permanent solution, a simple surgery may be preferable. One surgical option is the InterStim Therapy device. This is a small implant that helps stimulate the nerves surround the bladder, helping you regain control.
To learn your options and treat your incontinence, speak with a urologist. For convenient, trustworthy urology in the Dayton, Ohio area, contact Urology Specialists of Ohio today!