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Sensitive Bladder Tips

Overactive Bladder - How To Administer It?

Overactive Bladder - How To Administer It?

Not always nature’s calls can be answered immediately. Sometimes, situations demand that you control the urge for a while. When you are not able to control the urge, things may go haywire.

If you are experiencing a frequent urge to urinate and unable to control it, it might be a case of overactive bladder which can be quite embarrassing and can disrupt normal routine to a considerable extent. But if you consult a Urologist regarding this it can be managed and treated, so no need for concern. Know about the ways it can be handled efficiently as mentioned below.

Managing the condition
Practising pelvic floor exercises and bladder training are some of the most effective natural treatments for overactive bladder. Research indicates that these non-drug remedies are immensely useful for many women and they don’t have any side effects.

  1. Pelvic floor exercises- There are many workouts available for strengthening the muscles controlling urination. While practising the pelvic floor exercises, you will be able to hold, tighten and then relax the muscles which you use for starting and stopping the flow of urination. A particular type of training known as biofeedback can help in locating the right muscles that assist in squeezing. You can begin with Kegel exercises and slowly work the way up.
  2. Bladder training- This is another essential treatment for overactive bladder which doesn’t involve any medication. It helps in changing the way one uses the bathroom. In place of urinating whenever you feel the urge, you will allow your body to urinate at set times of the day, a phenomenon termed as scheduled voiding.
  3. Treatment through drugs-In people suffering from overactive bladder, the muscles present in the walls of the bladder start working at the wrong time. A group of medications termed as anticholinergics can treat the problem by blocking the nerve signals associated with the bladder muscle contractions. Common drugs of this category include Trospium, Tolterodine, Solifenacin, and others. The primary side effect of this drug is dry mouth though in specific instances it can cause blurred vision and rise in a heartbeat.

But this category of drug is not suited for everyone, and such people are prescribed with beta-3 adrenergic agonists. They work by activating the protein receptor present in the bladder muscles which relaxes and aids the bladder to store urine. Botox injections, which are commonly used for alleviating wrinkles are sometimes injected into the bladder muscle to help it relax. It helps in increasing the capacity of the bladder and reduce the level of contractions. But it is only given to people who are not able to control their symptoms with other forms of treatments.

Other simple measures such as avoiding drinking caffeine or a lot of fluids before any activity or before going to bed are advised. If the condition arises due to an underlying medical condition, your physician will provide the treatment accordingly. So, follow the instructions entirely to avail relief and cure.

Ulcer In Urinary Bladder - How They Can Be Treated?

Ulcer In Urinary Bladder - How They Can Be Treated?

Hunner's ulcers, simply put are painful ulcers in your urinary bladder. These ulcers are inextricably linked to another disorder called the painful bladder syndrome or intestinal cystitis. They occur in 10 to 15 percent of people with interstitia cystitis. These, in fact, are red patches or lesions on the bladder wall which can stiffen tissue and cause reduced bladder capacity. Hunner’s ulcers bleed, ooze pus and can be of different sizes. The ulcers in the bladder can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.

These are called Hunner’s ulcers because they were first described by Dr. Guy LeRoy Hunner, a Johns Hopkins gynecologist, in 1915. Since Hunner’s ulcers are seen only in people with intestinal cystitis, it’s important to know more about this painful life-altering bladder disorder before we can even understand how to deal with them.

Interstitial cystitis (IC)
IC is also called painful bladder syndrome. Another important thing to know about IC is that it strikes more women than men. IC is a chronic disorder and there’s no cure for it. It causes recurring bouts of pain and pressure in the urinary bladder and the pelvic area. This is often accompanied by an urgent and frequent need to urinate. Sufferers may have to rush to the ‘loo’ as much as 40, 50, or 60 times a day.

Diagnosis
Hunner's ulcers can only be accurately diagnosed by doing a cytoscopy which involves inserting a fibre-optic tube through the urethra to look at the bladder wall closely. During this procedure, a tissue sample from the bladder wall is usually also taken to rule out bladder cancer. Cytoscopy is usually done with hydrodistention under local anesthesia. This involves filling the bladder with a liquid for stretching it to provide a closer view of the bladder wall. Usually, a urologist performs this surgery along with a gynaecologist. IC and also Hunner’s ulcers are both a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that they’re diagnosed only after a number of other conditions have been ruled out.

Hence, the urologist will first take your thorough medical history, followed by a physical exam and a pelvic exam for women patients and perform tests for ruling out infection, and other disorders like bladder stones and cancer, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, endometriosis, sexually transmitted diseases amongst others. Only after these tests are inconclusive or uncertain and if there is blood in urine, will the urologist go for cystoscopy.

Treatment
There's no cure for IC, but Hunner’s ulcers can be cured by burning them off the bladder wall. Called fulguration, the process uses electricity or laser to burn the ulcers on the bladder wall. Resection is also used in which skin from around the Hunner’s ulcer is cut for removing both the ulcer and the inflamed tissue around it. The problem is that ulcers may recur in the same location.
So, managing IC becomes critical. Your doctor can try to treat the patient with one treatment or with a combination of treatment depending on the condition of the patient.

Pain medicines are the first line of treatment to manage Hunner’s ulcers and IC both, and many patients do go in for this. Patients also find relief by modifying their diet to remove foods and drinks like caffeinated beverages- tea, coffee, colas etc. Sodas, artificial sugars and fruit juices, especially Cranberry juice can trigger intense pain and discomfort, so these are usually contraindicated. Another important aspect is patient education about normal bladder function and tips on self-care and behavioural modifications like stress control to manage Hunner’s ulcers.

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All About Overactive Bladder

All About Overactive Bladder

A problem pertaining to the storage function of the bladder that results in bouts of sudden, often uncontrollable urge to urinate is referred to as an overactive bladder. This condition which is marked by unconditioned or involuntary loss of urine can sometimes be quite difficult to stop. People who experience such a condition often feel humiliated and as such tend to limit their social and work life. Despite such, only a few are conscious that a brief evaluation can help them manage and overcome an overactive bladder.

Mechanism of Urination

During urination, the urine proceeds from the bladder and flows into the urethra which is located at the tip of the penis in men and above the vagina in women. As the bladder fills, the nerve signals in the brain prompts urination by coordinating the relaxation and contraction of the urinary sphincter muscles.

Causes and Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder

Primarily caused due to involuntary contraction and relaxation of sphincter muscles, several conditions can lead to overactive bladder. 

Some of them are: 

1. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders
2. Poor kidney function due to diabetes
3. Medications that lead to increased production of urine
4. Bladder abnormalities like tumors or stones
5. Constipation
6. Excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol

Some of the common signs of an overactive bladder are:

1. Bouts of sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate
2. Awakening at night frequently to urinate
3. Urinating more than eight times a day

Risks

The risk of an overactive bladder gradually increases with age. Conditions such as diabetes and an enlarged prostate results in the increased likelihood of an overactive bladder. People who have previously faced strokes and heart attacks experience cognitive decline which often times lead to the development of an overactive bladder.

Urinary incontinence as well as a host of associated factors can be detrimental to your life. Emotional distress, interrupted sleep cycles and depression are some of the observed complications of this condition.

Thus if you experience or entertain suspicion of an overactive bladder, you should consider visiting a general physician who might refer you to a specialist, if need be.

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Frequent Urination - Can It Be A Sign Of Enlarged Prostate?

Frequent Urination - Can It Be A Sign Of Enlarged Prostate?

The condition of enlarged prostate occurs due to the enlargement of a man’s prostate gland, with the passage in time. Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it is more common in men over the age of 60. Some cases might have symptoms and others may be symptomless. Although the causes are relatively unknown, it is evident that BPH is not a form of cancer, neither does it cause cancer.

The prostate is located below the bladder and is responsible for producing the fluid needed by semen. The growth of the prostate tissue that is associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia begins near the inner prostate which is a tissue ring around the urethra. Its growth is generally inward.

Causes

It is of common knowledge that in males, the urine originates from the bladder and flows through the urethra. BPH is a condition where the prostate experiences a benign i.e. non cancerous enlargement which leads to blockage of urine flow through the urethra (the urinary duct). The resultant enlargement, caused due to the gradual multiplication of cells, subjects the urethra to extra pressure. Further narrowing of the urethra causes more contraction of the bladder, resulting in the urine being forcefully pushed out of the body.

With time, the condition leads to the bladder muscles gradually becoming thicker, stronger and oversensitive. Contraction occurs even due to the presence of small amounts of urine, giving rise to frequent needs of urination. At one point, the bladder muscle is unable to overcome the effects of the narrowed urethra. Due to this, urine does not pass properly and the urethra is not emptied.

Some of the common symptoms of enlarged prostate include:

1. Frequent urination
2. Urgency to urinate
3. Difficulty during urination
4. A slow or weak urinary stream
5. Requirement of extra effort to urinate
6. Interrupted sleep due to need of urination

Further risks

Sometimes, when the bladder is not emptied completely, a risk of urinary tract infections develops. Some other serious problems which can be a result of enlarged prostate include blood in urine, bladder stones as well as acute urinary retention (inability to urinate). In some rare cases, kidney and/or bladder damage might also result from such a condition.

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Painful Bladder Syndrome - Knowing The Signs Of It!

Painful Bladder Syndrome - Knowing The Signs Of It!

The kidneys make urine, which is a fluid through which wastes from the body including urea are eliminated from the body. There are two kidneys on the right and left side, which make urine, and pass it down to the bladder through tubes known as ureter. The bladder acts as a reservoir of the urine that is formed in the kidneys. It is stored temporarily there before being excreted out of the body through the urethra. The urinary bladder is a highly muscular organ and has a rich connective tissue.

Interstitial cystitis (IC) or painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is a very common condition, which affects females more than males. While the exact etiology is not known, it could be age-related and also lifestyle related. People who are used to controlling the urge to pass urine are highly likely to develop this condition. The simple logic is that there is additional pressure on the bladder from the urine that is contained for longer period of time. As such, the muscular wall stretches and begins to feel stressed.

When this habit continues over a period of time, the bladder wall may become irritated or inflamed or even scarred in severe cases. There is no role of bacteria in this condition, and antibiotics are of no help in managing this condition (though the name cystitis usually indicates infection).

The following symptoms are seen as a result of this constant irritation and inflammation.

  1. One may suffer from pain and pressure in the bladder as it continues to collect more and more urine.
  2. This pressure in the bladder also puts pressure on the surrounding tissues in the abdomen including the pelvis, urethra, abdominal organs, uterus, etc.
  3. Women may experience pain in the vaginal tract including vulva and behind the vagina.
  4. Men may experience pain in the area of the scrotum, testicles, prostate, and penis.
  5. There is an increased urge to urinate, which may be as much as 9 to 10 times a day. As the condition progresses, there could be more visits, as many as 40 to 50 visits a day.
  6. This tendency and urge to urinate increases during nighttime.
  7. For women, this urge to urinate and other symptoms including pain are worse during menstruation.
  8. There could be pain during intercourse for both men and women.
  9. There could be pain even otherwise, which can range from a mild dull ache to a piercing pain.
  10. At a structural level, this constant pressure leads to pinpoint bleeding(glomerulations) and sometimes even ulcers in the bladder wall.

There is no definitive treatment for IC or PBS. However, bladder distention and instillation are proven methods of increasing bladder capacity, which therefore helps in relieving symptoms.

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Bladder Infections - Things That Can Cause It!

Bladder Infections - Things That Can Cause It!

A bladder infection is a bacterial infection within the bladder. Some people call a bladder infection a urinary tract infection (UTI). This refers to a bacterial infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or the urethra. While most cases of bladder infection occur suddenly (acute), others may recur over the long term (chronic). Early treatment is key to preventing the spread of the infection.

What causes Bladder Infection?
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and travel into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. Men have added protection with the prostate gland, which secretes protective hormones as a safeguard against bacteria. Still, sometimes bacteria can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. This overwhelms the body’s ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and travel into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. Men have added protection with the prostate gland, which secretes protective hormones as a safeguard against bacteria. Still, sometimes bacteria can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.

Other factors can increase the risk of bladder infections for both men and women. These include:

  • Advanced age
  • Insufficient fluid intake
  • Surgical procedure within the urinary tract
  • A urinary catheter
  • Urinary obstruction, which is a blockage in the bladder or urethra
  • Urinary tract abnormality, which is caused by birth defects or injuries
  • Urinary retention, which means difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Narrowed urethra
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Symptoms for Bladder Infections

  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • A frequent sensation of having to urinate, which is called urgency
  • Cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back

Bladder infections can also cause back pain. This pain is associated with pain in the kidneys. Unlike muscular back pain, you might experience pain on both sides of your back or the middle of your back. Such symptoms mean the bladder infection has likely spread to the kidneys. A kidney infection can also cause a low fever.

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Interstitial Cystitis (IC) - Know Signs Of It!

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) - Know Signs Of It!

Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome, is a difficult condition. It is difficult to diagnose and though there are treatments that can make life easier, there is no long-term cure. Interstitial cystitis is a lifelong bladder problem, that causes pressure and pain below the belly button. Symptoms can be constant, or they may fluctuate. It causes painful and urgent trips to the bathroom. In severe cases, you may need to urinate about 40 to 60 times in a day.

What causes interstitial cystitis (IC)?

The bladder is a hollow, muscular organ that holds the urine your body needs to dispose. The reason why IC occurs isn’t that clear, but there a few ideas:
1. An issue with bladder tissue allows chemicals in your urine to irritate the bladder.
2. Chemicals that are released when there is an inflammation in your body can cause the symptoms.
3. The bladder can be attacked by your immune system
4. Substances in your urine can damage your bladder
5. Nerve problems can wreak havoc on your bladder

Signs and Symptoms

People suffering from IC don’t display the same symptoms. The symptoms keep changing, be it every day, every week or every month. Sometimes, the symptoms may entirely disappear without treatment. Some

common IC symptoms include:

1. Bladder pressure and pain that worsens after the bladder gets filled with urine
2. Pain in your urethra (the tube that drains the urine from your bladder), pelvis, lower back and lower tummy
3. Women experience vaginal pain (or the area behind it) or in the vulva
4. In men, a sensation of pain in the penis, testicles, scrotum or the region behind the scrotum
5. The urge to urinate, even if you had urinated a few moments ago
6. Women experience pain during intercourse
7. Men experience pain after sex or during orgasm

One common symptom shared by all people suffering from IC is a swollen bladder. There are certain things that can worsen your condition. These include:

1. Certain drinks or foods

2. Physical or mental stress

3. Menstrual cycles

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What Is Cystitis?

What Is Cystitis?

  • Cystitis usually occurs when the urethra and bladder, which are normally sterile, or microbe-free, become infected with bacteria.
  • Bacteria fasten to the lining of the bladder and cause the area to become irritated and inflamed.
  • Cystitis affects people of both sexes and all ages. It is more common among females than males because women have shorter urethras.

Cystitis signs and symptoms :

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Passing cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Low-grade fever
  • In young children, new episodes of accidental daytime wetting also may be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Nighttime bed-wetting on its own isn't likely to be associated with a UTI.

Causes :

There are many possible causes of cystitis. Most are infectious, and the majority of these cases stem from an ascending infection. The bacteria enter from the external genitourinary structures​

Diagnosis :

  • A doctor will ask the patient some questions, carry out an examination, and do a urine test. The urine test will either be sent to a laboratory, or the doctor may use a dipstick. Urine dipstick results come back quickly while the patient is still in the office.
  • Urine culture or catheterized urine specimen may be performed to determine the type of bacteria in the urine. After finding out which specific bacterium is causing the infection, the doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic.
  • Most doctors will also offer to test for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). STIs often have similar symptoms to cystitis.
  • Patients who get cystitis regularly may need further tests.
  • This could include an ultrasound scan, an X-ray, or a cystoscopy of the bladder, using a fiber-optic camera.

Prevention:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking lots of fluids are especially important if you're getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy, particularly on treatment days.
  • Urinate frequently. If you feel the urge to urinate, don't delay using the toilet.
  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This prevents bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Take showers rather than tub baths. If you're susceptible to infections, showering rather than bathing may help prevent them.
  • Gently wash the skin around the vagina and anus. Do this daily, but don't use harsh soaps or wash too vigorously. The delicate skin around these areas can become irritated.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid using deodorant sprays or feminine products in the genital area. These products can irritate the urethra and bladder

What Is Cystitis?

What Is Cystitis?

  • Cystitis usually occurs when the urethra and bladder, which are normally sterile, or microbe-free, become infected with bacteria.
  • Bacteria fasten to the lining of the bladder and cause the area to become irritated and inflamed.
  • Cystitis affects people of both sexes and all ages. It is more common among females than males because women have shorter urethras.


Cystitis signs and symptoms :

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Passing cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Low-grade fever

In young children, new episodes of accidental daytime wetting also may be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Nighttime bed-wetting on its own isn't likely to be associated with a UTI.

Causes :

There are many possible causes of cystitis. Most are infectious, and the majority of these cases stem from an ascending infection. The bacteria enter from the external genitourinary structures


Diagnosis :

  • A doctor will ask the patient some questions, carry out an examination, and do a urine test. The urine test will either be sent to a laboratory, or the doctor may use a dipstick. Urine dipstick results come back quickly while the patient is still in the office.
  • Urine culture or catheterized urine specimen may be performed to determine the type of bacteria in the urine. After finding out which specific bacterium is causing the infection, the doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic.
  • Most doctors will also offer to test for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). STIs often have similar symptoms to cystitis.
  • Patients who get cystitis regularly may need further tests.
  • This could include an ultrasound scan, an X-ray, or a cystoscopy of the bladder, using a fiber-optic camera.

Prevention:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking lots of fluids are especially important if you're getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy, particularly on treatment days.
  • Urinate frequently. If you feel the urge to urinate, don't delay using the toilet.
  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This prevents bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Take showers rather than tub baths. If you're susceptible to infections, showering rather than bathing may help prevent them.
  • Gently wash the skin around the vagina and anus. Do this daily, but don't use harsh soaps or wash too vigorously. The delicate skin around these areas can become irritated.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid using deodorant sprays or feminine products in the genital area. These products can irritate the urethra and bladder
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Frequent Urination - Can It Be A Sign Of Kidney Disease?

Frequent Urination - Can It Be A Sign Of Kidney Disease?

Do you find it impossible to control the urge to urinate every now and then? If you feel the need to urinate more than 8 times a day, then it could be a health problem. Frequent urination is the medical term for this problem. The condition is not the same as urinary incontinence, where there is leakage of urine.

A number of habits can play a role in causing frequent urination. This includes drinking more fluids and consumption of caffeine-based beverages. However, the condition may also be a sign of an underlying kidney disorder.

Relation between frequent urination and kidney problems-

While frequent urination is itself not a serious problem, but it can be a symptom of kidney or ureter problems, urinary bladder problems, or diseases such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, or prostate gland problems.

Frequent urination is linked to a number of kidney problems such as:

a. Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)

Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that normally starts in your urethra or bladder and travels to one or both of your kidneys. Frequent urination is often the most common symptom of pyelonephritis.

b. Kidney stones

Sometimes, hard collections of salt and minerals get accumulated in the form of stones in your kidney(s). These may increase in size in a ureter or the bladder. When the stone passes down the ureter, you may have an urge to urinate frequently.

c. Renal hypertension

If you suffer from renal hypertension (high blood pressure) or fluid buildup in the kidney, then your doctor may prescribe you medications that are used to treat and flush out excess fluid from the body. These medications can have a diuretic effect and may lead to frequent urination.

Feeling the urge to pass urine can be a symptom of many different problems. But if you experience the condition along with other abnormal symptoms such as fever or pain in abdomen, then you should consult your doctor immediately.  

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