Overactive Bladder (OAB)

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OAB Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a medical condition characterized by a frequent and urgent need to urinate. People with overactive bladder often experience a sudden and intense urge to urinate, which may be difficult to control. This can lead to involuntary bladder contractions, causing urinary urgency, frequency, and sometimes leakage (incontinence).

Causes

The exact cause of OAB is not always known, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including abnormal bladder contractions, changes in the nerves controlling the bladder, and alterations in the signaling pathways between the bladder and the brain. Several factors can contribute to the development of overactive bladder, such as age, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions (like diabetes or urinary tract infections), neurological disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis), and lifestyle factors (such as excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption).

Overactive bladder can affect people of all ages, but it becomes more common as individuals get older. Women are generally more affected than men, especially after menopause. However, it is important to note that overactive bladder is not a normal part of aging and should not be ignored or dismissed.

Treatments

Treatment options for overactive bladder aim to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. They can include:

  • Behavioral interventions: These involve lifestyle modifications and bladder training techniques. Examples include scheduled voiding (urinating at specific times), double voiding (urinating, waiting a few moments, and then trying to urinate again), and pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegel exercises) to strengthen the muscles that control urination.
  • Medications: Several types of medications can be prescribed to relax the bladder muscle or block the nerve signals that trigger involuntary contractions. These medications include anticholinergics [such as oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol, Gelnique), tolterodine (Detrol), darifenacin, solifenacin (Vesicare), trospium, and fesoterodine (Toviaz)] and beta-3 adrenergic agonists [such as mirabegron (Myrbetriq) or vibegron (Gemtesa)]. The choice of medication depends on the individual’s specific symptoms and medical history.  Typical side effects include dry mouth, constipation,
  • Nerve stimulation: Electrical stimulation of the nerves that control the bladder can help regulate its activity. This can be achieved through techniques such as sacral neuromodulation, where a device is implanted to deliver mild electrical pulses to the nerves.  Dr. Bhalani has extensive experience with this treatment and numerous satisfied patients
  • Botox injections: In some cases, injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the bladder muscle can help relax it and reduce overactive contractions.  It is important to know that Botox may cause urinary retention and needs to be repeated every 3-6 months.
  • Surgical interventions: In rare cases, when other treatments have not been effective, surgical procedures may be considered. These can include bladder augmentation (enlarging the bladder using a piece of the patient’s bowel) or urinary diversion (creating a new pathway for urine to exit the body).

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss the most appropriate treatment options based on individual circumstances. They can provide guidance and help determine the best course of action to manage overactive bladder effectively. Call our office to schedule an appointment at (678) 321-7227.

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