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Mark Bilowus, MD
Overactive Bladder?
Bilowus Medical

Overactive Bladder?

If you're reading this article, you or someone you care for is probably experiencing bladder control problems. One of those conditions is called overactive bladder (OAB). It's a condition that's inconvenient, may be embarrassing, and is potentially debilitating. The good news is that this is a condition that can be managed.

4 Symptoms of OAB

Urgency a sudden and overwhelming need to urinate immediately. People without OAB can suppress urges and postpone urination.

Frequency urinating more than eight times a day. Normal is about 4-6 times per day, or every 3-5 hours.

Urge Incontinence urine leakage (wetting accident) that follows a sudden urge. The amount can be anywhere from a few drops to the entire contents of the bladder.

Nocturia waking up two or more times during the night to urinate. Most people can sleep for 6-8 hours without having to urinate.

What's the Hold-Up?

Unfortunately, the majority of people with OAB go undiagnosed and untreated. Those who d o see a doctor postpone an average of 3 years before doing so, only seeking help when their condition becomes unbearable. Why, when the effects are so devastating, do people suffer so long in silence? Here are some possible reasons

Some people are too embarrassed to confide in my doctor.

Many people don't realize they have symptoms of an actual medical condition, or mistakenly believe there is no treatment.

Fear that their bladder problems are only correctable by surgery keeps some people from mentioning it to their doctor.

Some people assume their condition will resolve on its own.

When bladder problems evolve slowly, people may not recognize the true impact OAB symptoms have on their lives.

Some people don't acknowledge their condition because they worry they'll be too much of a burden on loved ones or subconsciously fear they're reaching the end of their independence.

What Can You Do?

For some people, it's difficult to bring up their bladder problems for the first time, even if it's with their own physician. But it's the most important step you can take. With treatment, you may be able to live life more normally and stop being ruled by your bladder. If you feel uncomfortable discussing the subject initially, remember that your OAB can't begin to improve until an honest discussion occurs. Your medical providers are there to help you in any way they can.

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