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Frequent Urination - Is It A Symptom of An Overactive Bladder?

Dr. Raja Langer 94% (51 ratings)
DNB - Urology, Andrology & Kidney Transplant, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Sexologist, Bangalore  •  19 years experience
Frequent Urination - Is It A Symptom of An Overactive Bladder?

An overactive bladder is a condition that is characterized by a problem in the bladder storage function; a problem that eggs one on to urinate frequently. This condition can cause problems in your social and work life. You may isolate yourself from others and feel embarrassed about the situation.

Symptoms
If you have an overactive bladder, you may exhibit symptoms of frequent urination, involuntary leakage of urine and frequent urge to urinate. These symptoms might disrupt your daily life; so it is important to seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Causes
To better understand what causes an overactive bladder, you need to know how the urination process works. Urine is produced by the kidneys, which flows to the bladder. During urination, the urine is excreted from an opening in the bladder and flows out via the urethra. As the kidneys secrete urine, the bladder starts to fill up. During this stage, nerve signals are sent to the brain; signals that trigger your body to urinate. The bladder muscles tighten that pushes the urine out of the body.

An overactive bladder results from the involuntarily contraction of the bladder, which might happen even if the content of urine in the bladder is low. These contractions create the urge to urinate. The various causes of an overactive bladder are:

  1. Excessive fluid intake, if your fluid intake is high, then you may have the tendency to urinate frequently.
  2. Presence of tumors or stones in the bladder can make the bladder overactive as well.
  3. Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption has the same effect as an excessive intake of fluids has.
  4. Urinary tract infections may interfere with the entire process of urination, thus causing your bladder to swell up and become overactive.
  5. Other diseases and conditions such as constipation and an enlarged prostate can hamper bladder functioning.

Treatment
There are multiple approaches to treat an overactive bladder; your doctor may use one or a combination of multiple methods.

  1. Medications: Medications such as Trospium and Tolterodine help in relaxing the bladder. These medications help treat symptoms of frequent urination.
  2. Bladder injections: Botox is a protein that is injected into the bladder that causes partial paralysis of the bladder muscles. This helps in treating the constant urge to urinate. However, its effects are temporary as they last for 6-9 months.
  3. Lifestyle modifications: Certain lifestyle modifications such as incorporating exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, maintaining optimal weight levels and bladder training to control its functioning can help with managing an overactive bladder.
  4. SurgeryIf the other treatments do not produce the desired results, then surgery is usually recommended. The aim of the surgery is to enhance the storage capacity of the bladder and reduce bladder pressure. 
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