Treating Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder

What is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder is a condition that causes a sudden urge to urinate. This urge may be difficult to suppress and can sometimes lead to incontinence – the involuntary loss of urine.

Overactive bladder occurs because the sphincter muscles – the muscles that control the flow of urine leaving the body – and the bladder wall muscles aren’t working properly. While the cause of overactive bladder can’t always be determined, the condition is sometimes linked to an underlying health condition. Overactive bladder can happen at any age, but is most common in older adults.

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

There are several symptoms that suggest overactive bladder, including:

  • Increased urinary frequency – urinating at least eight times a day
  • Urgency of urination
  • Urinating at least three times in the middle of the night
  • Urge incontinence

It is not uncommon for people to assume that overactive bladder is a normal part of aging. However, symptoms of urgency and incontinence aren’t necessarily inevitable as one ages and it is important to see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. In many cases, these symptoms may suggest overactive bladder, but they can also be signs of another health condition.

Diagnosing Overactive Bladder

In order to diagnose overactive bladder, your doctor will review your medical history and ask you questions regarding your urine frequency and urgency. Your doctor may also perform tests, which may include:

  • Urinalysis to check for conditions that can cause overactive bladder
  • Postvoid residual volume test to see whether the bladder empties fully
  • Bladder stress test
  • Ultrasound
  • Cystoscopy

Treating Overactive Bladder

If you have overactive bladder, your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment option. The choice of treatment will depend on how severe symptoms are and how they interfere with your lifestyle. Typical treatments for overactive bladder include pelvic-muscle strengthening, behavioral therapies and medications.

If not treated, overactive bladder can sometimes cause some other health complications, including urinary tract infections, skin irritation, skin infection, bladder stones or falls in the elderly.

Academic Urology Locations

  • Brinton Lake

    Crozer Medical Plaza
    500 Evergreen Dr.,
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • Bryn Mawr

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 300
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Center for Pelvic Medicine, LLC

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 301
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Coatesville

    213 Reeceville Rd
    Coatesville, PA 19320

  • Glen Mills

    100 Maris Grove Way
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • King of Prussia

    211 S. Gulph Rd.
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • Media

    200 East State Street
    Suite 205
    Media, PA 19063

  • Paoli

    2 Industrial Boulevard
    Building C, Suite 120
    Paoli, PA 19301

  • Phoenixville

    824 Main Street
    Suite 301
    Phoenixville, PA 19460

  • Pottstown

    20 Sunnybrook Road
    Pottstown, PA 19464

  • The Prostate Center

    211 South Gulph Rd.
    Suite 200
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • West Chester

    915 Old Fern Hill Road
    Building B
    West Chester, PA 19380

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