Overactive Bladder Specialists

Associated Urologists of North Carolina -  - Urology

Associated Urologists of North Carolina

Urologists located in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh & Wake Forest, NC

If you’re embarrassed by an overactive bladder, it may help to know you’re not alone. An estimated 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States suffer from an overactive bladder. The skilled physicians at Associated Urologists of North Carolina have extensive experience helping men and women overcome urinary frequency and urgency caused by an overactive bladder. If you have questions, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, call one of the seven locations in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh, and Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Overactive Bladder Q & A

What is an Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a syndrome defined by these key symptoms:

  • Urinary Urgency: The hallmark symptom of OAB, urinary urgency is a sudden, uncontrollable need to urinate.
  • Urinary Frequency and Nocturia: Most patients with OAB experience a frequent need to urinate during the day and also during the night, which is called nocturia.
  • Urge Incontinence: Many, but not all, patients with OAB develop urge incontinence. This type of incontinence occurs when the sudden urge to go to the bathroom makes you leak urine

 

What Causes Overactive Bladder?

When your bladder is full, nerve signals travel from the bladder to your brain, which triggers your need to urinate. As you urinate, nerves relax the muscles that normally stop urine from being released. At the same time, the muscles in your bladder contract to push urine out.

You develop OAB when the muscles involuntarily contract even though there’s little urine in your bladder. The problem occurs when nerve signals don’t work properly, or when the bladder muscles are too active.

Your risk of developing OAB is higher if you have:

  • Neurologic disorder
  • Hormone changes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Pelvic muscle weakness
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bladder stones or tumors

 

Taking certain medications and diseases, such as stroke and multiple sclerosis, can also result in OAB.

How Do You Treat Overactive Bladder?

Your doctor at Associated Urologists of North Carolina reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam as well as a neurological exam. Your doctor may also conduct a urinalysis and urodynamic testing to evaluate the function of your bladder.

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor develops a comprehensive treatment plan that may include:

  • Lifestyle Changes: You may need to avoid foods that irritate your bladder, do exercises to strengthen the muscles or perform behavioral techniques that train your bladder.
  • Prescription Medications: Your doctor may prescribe one of several antimuscarinic medications or the beta-3-adrenergic agonist drug called Myrbetriq® to help your OAB. These medications have different mechanisms of action, but as a group, they inhibit nerves, relax your bladder, increase bladder capacity, improve bladder emptying, and decrease urinary frequency and urgency.
  • Botox Injections: Injections of onabotulinumtoxinA can calm the bladder muscles by stopping the nerves from triggering contractions.
  • Neuromodulation Therapies: Neuromodulation therapies use mild electrical stimulation to improve OAB. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) improves bladder activity by delivering electrical stimulation to nerves at the base of your spine that are responsible for bladder function.
  • Another treatment, InterStim®, uses an implantable device to transmit electrical impulses to the sacral nerve, which also regulates the bladder. The electrical stimulation relieves OAB by normalizing nerve activity.


To get help for an OAB, call Associated Urologists of North Carolina today.