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Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder is a medical condition that occurs due to sudden and involuntary contraction of the detrusor (bladder muscle). The symptoms of an overactive bladder are essential to understand for the timely diagnosis of this medical condition.

Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder   

Your physician is best equipped to interpret your signs and symptoms for any medical condition. The common symptoms associated with an overactive bladder may include one or more of the following.

  • There is a sudden urge for urination that is difficult to control by the individual.
  • The frequency of urination increases magnanimously from 8 to up to 24 times a day for visiting the bathroom. This problem interferes with normal life and a person with an overactive bladder may become isolated due to embarrassment.
  • The individual wakes up at night three or four times to relieve himself or herself. This often disturbs the sleep routine and work productivity. This sign is called ‘nocturia’.
  • Urinary incontinence is also reported by people with an overactive bladder which basically means the involuntary loss of urine when there is an urge to urinate.

Refer yourself to a doctor when you experience any of these symptoms. REMEMBER aging does not go hand in hand with an overactive bladder. It’s important to get a checkup, especially when this condition starts interfering in your everyday life.

Your Physician Consultation

During your consultation with your physician to review any concerns you have, he or she will likely initially check for infection or blood in your urine through a urine test. Your thorough medical history will be reviewed to identify clues that may indicate contributing factors in your condition. A physical exam will be taken which is usually focused on the abdomen and the genitals. A neurological exam may also be performed to look for abnormal reflexes or some sensory problem.

Diagnostic Tools

The need for tests arises when you are referred to a specialist usually. The test may include a simple urodynamic test that will be helpful in assessing the function of your bladder. The other tests may involve the following.

Measuring bladder pressure- this may be assessed by a thin catheter filling the bladder with warm water and another catheter that can be placed in the rectum or for females, the vagina. This will identify involuntary muscle movement that cannot handle low urinary pressure. This technique is called Cystometry.

Measuring the flow of urine- in this simple test you will be asked to urinate into an uroflowmeter that gives out results is graphic form.

Ultrasound of the bladder- This test is relatively an important one. This is to determine the amount of urine that is not able to pass out which is also called postvoid residual urine.

Next Visit, Treatments for Overactive Bladder

It is important to recognize that initial diagnostic tests may not offer fully conclusive results about individual’s overall condition. In addition, all medications and procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.