Like a number of other gynecologic conditions, many women with overactive bladder are often told that the condition is part of being a woman. Unfortunately, this sentiment leads to the unnecessary suffering of many women living with overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a type of incontinence that can greatly impact quality of life, interfering with social activities, relationships, sex and sleep.
What is Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder isn’t really a disease, but more of a cluster of symptoms caused by another factor. Symptoms of overactive bladder include the sudden urge to urinate, leaking of urine as soon as you feel the urge to go, the need to go the bathroom frequently and the inability to sleep because of so many trips to the bathroom. Many women suffering from overactive bladder are not able to make it to the bathroom in time when they feel the urge to go.
It is reported that as many as 40 percent of women have overactive bladder, but it’s likely that the number is actually much higher because many women don’t report their symptoms. Often women are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about their symptoms or they may feel that the symptoms are a normal part of aging or being a woman. Many women are mistakenly led to believe that there is no treatment for overactive bladder, so they don’t seek help.
How Do I Know if I Have Overactive Bladder?
There are a couple of different types of incontinence. Many women live with stress incontinence – “stress” means that urine is expelled under stress like sneezing, coughing, laughing or bending. This is different from overactive bladder that occurs when you feel the urge to go often and sometimes cannot make it to the bathroom in time.
Overactive bladder can discourage women from being social, engaging at work and doing normal physical activities. These factors combined with lack of sleep can lead to depression. Urine leakage can lead to skin infection which can greatly increase your discomfort. Treating overactive bladder is about so much more than just your ability to urinate and there are proven, effective treatments that treat your symptoms and greatly improve your quality of life.