Like many common problems, there can be a lot of bad information and misconceptions around them. This is particularly true when it comes to overactive bladder. It’s a problem for many of us — the National Association for Continence reports that about 12.2 million adults in the U.S. have this problem. And yet we don’t have all the facts about our annoying condition, also called urge incontinence because some of us have trouble controlling the intense urge to urinate and don’t make it to the bathroom in time.
Here are some of the “facts” you likely have heard about overactive bladder, none of which are true:
Overactive bladder is a result of having a tiny bladder — false
Involuntary bladder contractions cause those sudden, strong urges to urinate and have nothing to do with bladder size. An enlarged prostate can contribute to overactive bladder in men.
Overactive bladder makes you leak when you laugh — false
It’s true that the condition can give you sudden, strong urges to urinate, but if you leak urine when you laugh, cough or exercise, you have a different bladder problem, called stress incontinence. However, some people have both conditions.
Overactive bladder is a female problem — false
While it’s true that women are more likely to seek medical help for the problem. But overactive bladder, it affects both genders. And by age 60, more men have symptoms of the problem than women (see: enlarged prostate).
Drinking less water can control overactive bladder — false
While it’s true you might urinate less if you drink less water, it’s never healthy to cut back drastically on water intake. It will make your urine more highly concentrated, which further irritates the bladder. So you might actually need to urinate more often.
There’s nothing you can do about your overactive bladder — false
Most of our patients with overactive bladder are helped with behavioral treatment (diet changes, exercises, bladder retraining) and medication. And there are other highly effective options, including bladder nerve stimulation and Botox injections to relax the bladder. Call for your appointment today: 972-403-5425. Get the facts for managing your overactive bladder.
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