It’s a frustrating and sometimes debilitating problem; urinary urgency you just can't ignore, much as you'd like to. An overactive bladder can reorganize the day's activities, and not in a good way. You may have trouble going on long car trips, watching a movie, or even simply leaving the house. The problem may be an overactive bladder, but how can you tell?
(By the way, it's not a normal part of aging.)
Here are some things to look out for:
Frequent visits to the bathroom (can be eight or more times per day)
Feeling of urgency, not being able to wait
Awakened two or more times in the night by urge to go
Incontinence —- involuntary loss of urine immediately after an urgent need to urinate.
An overactive bladder is spastic, meaning the bladder muscle contracts too much. People complain they can't get to the bathroom in time. First line treatments include dietary changes and bladder relaxation techniques. If those are unsuccessful, then medication is often tried, followed by Botox.
Botox is a 10-minute procedure that can either be done in the office or under sedation as an outpatient. It involves inserting a very small scope into the urethra, then using the scope to inject Botox into the bladder muscle. The success rate is about 80%, and its positive effects last for about 1 yr, after which time the injection may be repeated.
Botox has been used to calm overactive bladders for more than a decade, it became more common after the Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment in January 2013.
Still, it's not for everyone. You may not be a candidate if you have another urinary problem, such as difficulty emptying your bladder or recurrent urinary tract infections.
To determine if Botox may help with your bladder, you should contact us at Advanced Women's Health of NJ, where our urogynecologists can advise you about your best options to control your bladder