Is Your Bladder Controlling Your Life? Could you have Overactive Bladder Syndrome?

Overactive Bladder Syndrome

Do you experience a sudden uncontrollable urge to rush to the bathroom as soon as you put the key in the door when you get home? And sometimes leak before you make the toilet?

Do you plan your outings around the location of a bathroom? Or maybe you have started to avoid activities that you love such as golf, long walk with friends, or travel for fear of not making it to the toilet on time.

If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing what we call Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB). At any one time, around 16% of adults (both women and men) will be experiencing overactive bladder and it can have a significant effect on quality of life.

Women will be more likely than men to experience urine leakage with urgency. It is more common as we age. Having overactive bladder syndrome does not mean it will stay with you forever, particularly if you take steps to improve it.

The common symptoms of OAB are:

  • Urinary Frequency – Needing to pass urine more than 8 times in the day
  • Nocturia – Waking twice or more at night to pass urine
  • Urgency – A sudden, compelling desire to void that is difficult to defer
  • Urge-related Urinary Incontinence – involuntary leaking of urine associated with being unable to make it to the bathroom when strong urgency sensations occur

There are many possible causes and different factors that contribute to OAB. The Women’s, Men’s and Pelvic Health (WMPH) team at Total Physiotherapy love the detective work to find the contributing factors for each individual and even more rewarding is to  find the right solution to resolve the symptoms.

Possible contributing factors/causes  of OAB include:

  • Fluid intake that is too high, too low or high quantities of fluid such as caffeine or alcohol
  • An “irritable bladder”. Similar to irritable bowel, the bladder might be more “twitchy” and sending signals of fullness when it is not really full at all
  • Constipation – this can put additional pressure on the bladder thus increasing the urge
  • Prolapse in women or enlarged prostate in men
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Changes to the nerve messages from bladder to the brain and back again might mean that the brain is paying more attention to the bladder than it should
  • Anxiety
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, MS or stroke
  • Some medications
  • When there is leakage urine associated with the urgency, it may be that the pelvic floor muscles are not working as well as they should

What should I do if I think I have Overactive Bladder Syndrome?

Firstly, see your doctor. They will do necessary tests such as a urine sample to check for infection.

Then book in to see one of our expert pelvic health physio’s. We will begin our detective work with a lot of questions. We may ask you to complete a bladder diary where you record every time you empty your bladder and how much urine is passed as well as recording everything you drink.

We may wish to understand how your pelvic floor muscles are working. In overactive bladder syndrome they sometimes do not relax well enough. In the case of leaking, they may not be strong enough. We can assess the pelvic floor muscles either with the real time ultrasound or in women we may suggest an internal vaginal assessment (only if you are comfortable to do so).

Based on our findings we will make a plan and provide the best treatment to help you get back in control of your bladder.

Contact Us

Our experienced and caring WMPH physio’s are happy to speak with you should have any questions regarding your appointment. Please contact us on 9907 0321 or book an appointment online today by clicking here if you are ready to get back in control of your bladder.

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