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How to Manage Urgency Incontinence and Overactive Bladder?

dealing-with-incontinence

The clinical syndrome of overactive bladder consists of four key symptoms, viz. frequency, urgency, nocturia, and urgency incontinence. By its very nature, it can make you feel out of control with an intense urge to go to the bathroom. The urge is triggered by the sound of running water, and the result can be embarrassing, anxiety, and discomfort. If you are experiencing any such abnormal urge to urinate, consult a physician to check if you have any blood or infection in your urine. The physician will also want to make sure whether you are emptying your bladder completely while urinating. He will concentrate on certain contributing factors like –

  • Conducting a physical examination that is completely focused on your genitals and abdomen
  • Checking the medical history
  • Focusing on neurological examination for identifying abnormal reflexes and sensory problems
  • Testing the urine sample for infection, any traces of blood or other abnormalities.

Conducting Special Tests

Initially, a simple urodynamic test will be suggested by your doctor to assess the functioning of your bladder and its ability to empty completely and steadily. This test involves a series of observations including –

Measuring the urine flow rate – This test helps in measuring the speed and volume of your urine. For this, you may be asked to urinate into a uroflowmeter. The device translates the data into a graph of changes in the flow rate.

Measuring the urine left in the bladder – This test is necessary when you are experiencing urinary incontinence, or your bladder is not emptying completely after urinating. The leftover urine may develop symptoms similar to overactive bladder. The remaining urine can either be measured through an ultrasound scan or by passing a catheter to drain and measure the urine.

Testing the bladder pressure – The pressure in the bladder and the surrounding region is measured through Cystometry. The bladder is filled slowly filled with warm water, and any involuntary muscle contractions are observed to make sure whether your bladder is capable of storing urine under low pressure.

Treatment

A combination of treatment strategies can be undertaken to relieve overactive bladder symptoms.

Behavioral Interventions

This is the first treatment option for managing an overactive bladder. The treatment includes:

Healthy weight – Weight loss may help you to get over stress urinary incontinence.

Pelvic floor muscle exercisesUndertaking Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. This can help to stop the involuntary contractions of the bladder.

Intermittent Catheterization – Using a catheter to empty your bladder occasionally can be helpful for those who are unable to empty their bladder by themselves.

Absorbent Pads – Wearing absorbent undergarments or pads can help to avoid embarrassing incidents. They are available in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels, depending on the requirement of the user.

Medication

This can help in relaxing the bladder by reducing episodes of urge incontinence and symptoms of overactive bladder. Some of the drugs include –

  • Oxybutynin
  • Trospium
  • Tolterodine
  • Mirabegron
  • Darifenacin

In difficult situations, treatments like bladder injections, surgery, and nerve stimulations are prescribed. The choice of treatment option and the mode of treatment depend on the condition of the patient and the specific doctor treating such conditions.

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