Many women living with the symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB) are often embarrassed to talk to their doctor about the condition, and some women don’t know where to turn to for help.
“OAB is a chronic condition. While there is no cure, there are many treatments we can provide to help women manage their symptoms successfully,” says urologist and OAB specialist, Lisa Hawes, M.D. of Chesapeake Urology. “Our team of OAB specialists understands that when it comes to overactive bladder symptoms, there’s no one-size-fits-all fix. Every woman is unique and our comprehensive OAB program is focused on this individualized approach to managing the condition and restoring a woman’s quality of life.”
The OAB specialists at Chesapeake Urology answer some of the most common questions women have about OAB:
Q: Am I the only one I know living with these OAB symptoms?
A: No, many women experience the urinary urge associated with OAB at some point in their lives. You are not along. In fact, approximately 40 percent of women in the U.S. live with the symptoms of OAB. The good news is 80% of people with OAB enjoy long term relief with a combination of behavioral and medical approaches to symptom management.
Q: What exactly are the symptoms of OAB?
A: The “gotta go” feeling or extreme urge to urinate more frequently are common symptoms of OAB. Many women find themselves constantly running to a bathroom.
Other symptoms include:
- Urine leakage – The urge to urinate may cause your bladder to leak.
- Increased frequency of urination – You may need to go to the bathroom many times throughout the day (more than eight times throughout the day).
- Waking up at night more than twice to urinate.
Q: Can OAB be cured?
A: Overactive bladder is a chronic condition that cannot be “cured,” but its symptoms can be successfully managed for the long term with the right diagnosis and careful treatment planning. Having ongoing communication with an OAB specialist is key to managing symptoms and to finding the best treatment.
Watch our video on OAB and the patient experience.
Q: What are the treatment options for OAB?
A: The OAB specialists at Chesapeake Urology follow an individualized treatment pathway that is personalized to effectively manage a woman’s OAB symptoms. First line treatments include:
- Physical therapy with a dedicated pelvic health physical therapist
- Lifestyle changes and modifications to what you eat and drink, as well as keeping a daily bladder diary may be recommended.
- Medication therapy - Medication may be combined with physical therapy and behavior modification.
If more conservative therapies are not effective, your urologist will re-evaluate your OAB symptoms and may recommend one of the following advanced treatments:
- Bladder injections - In some cases of OAB, injecting Botox into the bladder tissues has been found to be effective in temporarily relieving symptoms.
- Neuromodulation therapy - Implantable neuromodulation devices such as Urgent® PC or Interstim® stimulate the nerves in the pelvis and bladder to control bladder function.
Q: Who can I call for help managing my OAB symptoms?
A: Chesapeake Urology's Comprehensive OAB Program has a team of specialists focused on helping women manage their OAB. Visit http://womenshealth.chesapeakeurology.com/our-team/ or call 877-771-9508 to make an appointment with one of our OAB specialists.
Q: What support services are available to women living with the symptoms of OAB?
A: Chesapeake Urology's OAB Education Sessions and Interstim Workshops are Free to all women and take place on the last Saturday of every month throughout 2016. Get the details here: http://womenshealth.chesapeakeurology.com/media/303239/oab-saturday-session-flyer_highres.pdf