Overactive Bladder

Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists

Located in Bellingham, WA - Serving the Pacific Northwest

Approximately 33 million American men and women struggle with overactive bladder, but Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists can help. The experienced team of urologists in Bellingham, Washington, offers the most advanced and innovative treatments available for urological issues, including overactive bladder. If your bladder is waking you up at night or causing you to run to the bathroom, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Overactive Bladder

Do I have an overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder is a condition that affects many men and women, and its most common symptom is the urgent need to urinate. Additional signs of overactive bladder include:

  • Having to use the bathroom several times overnight
  • Needing to use the bathroom more frequently
  • Involuntary urine leakage, or leaking with urgency (leak on the way to the toilet)

Overactive bladder can negatively affect your life simply because you can be afraid to ever be too far from a toilet.

 

What causes overactive bladder?

This form of urinary incontinence can have several causes, including:

  • Too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Enlarged prostate in men
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Age-related changes to the pelvic floor muscles
  • Certain disorders that increase urine production, like diabetes and kidney disease
  • Bladder irregularities, like stones or tumors
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Post-menopausal status

These changes can cause a miscommunication with your nerve signals, brain, and bladder. When this occurs, your bladder muscle receives the signal to contract even when you don’t have to void.

 

 

How is overactive bladder diagnosed and treated?

During your appointment, your Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists provider discusses your symptoms, reviews your medical history, and performs a physical exam. They might also request a urine sample to look for abnormalities, like blood or signs of infection.

Based on your diagnosis, your urologist can provide a variety of treatments. For men experiencing overactive bladder because of an enlarged prostate, they have specific medications and therapies to provide relief from symptoms.

In many cases, the first line of defense against overactive bladder involves exercises designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as well as your urinary sphincter. These exercises can help you improve your muscle tone and strength to stop your bladder from contracting involuntarily. An additional pelvic floor treatment at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists for women includes InTone®. You insert this innovative device vaginally in the comfort of your home. It uses high-frequency stimulation to strengthen muscles in the area associated with urination.

The team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists also offers prescription medications and Botox® that calm your bladder muscle. They also provide InterStim® therapy, a treatment that uses gentle electrical pulses to improve communication between your brain and nerves to help relax your bladder. Both of these treatments are typically more effective than medications.

To find help for overactive bladder, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.