Do you find yourself going to the toilet to urinate too often? Do you get up in the middle of the night more than once to go to the toilet? This could be due to an overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a treatable medical condition. Its symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, and accidental loss of urine due to a sudden and unstoppable need to urinate. This condition is not normal at any age.
If you are experiencing a lack of bladder control, see your doctor. Most bladder control problems can be successfully treated! The symptoms of overactive bladder include:
Frequency — often having to urinate more than 8 times over 24 hours (including waking up to urinate 2 or more times a night); the need to urinate may occur soon after the bladder has been emptied.
Urgency — frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate with little or no chance to postpone the urination.
Wetting accidents— involuntary loss of urine (a small or large amount) following a sudden, strong desire to urinate (urgency).
Most people with overactive bladder experience only the symptoms of urgency and frequency (60%). The remaining 40% have wetting accidents in addition to urgency and, often frequency.
Overactive bladder occurs when a large muscle in the bladder known as the detrusor is too active. This muscle squeezes or contracts more often than normal and at inappropriate times. Instead of staying at rest as urine fills the bladder, the detrusor contracts while the bladder is filling with urine. This causes a person to feel a sudden and sometimes overwhelming urge to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full. In some cases, overactive bladder may result from neurological (nerve-related) damage due to disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord lesions. However, in most patients a cause cannot be identified.
What type of doctor treats overactive bladder?
You may want to start by talking to your family doctor or, if you are a woman, you can discuss your symptoms with a gynaecologist. In some cases, your family doctor or gynaecologist may refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist (a doctor who specializes in bladder and urine problems and other conditions of the urinary system) or a urogynecologist (a doctor who specializes in women’s bladder and urine problems as well as other conditions that affect the urinary and reproductive systems).