Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments for Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urge to urinate, in addition to incontinence. Dr. Y. Mark Hong offers treatment to relieve overactive bladder in our Phoenix, AZ, practice. Millions of Americans, up to 30% of men and up to 60% of women, are affected by an overactive bladder (OAB). Worldwide, this condition is highly prevalent and negatively impacts the sufferer’s quality of life. Because many living with OAB don’t ask for help out of embarrassment, the actual number of cases is likely higher. During private consultations, Dr. Hong makes patients feel comfortable discussing medical concerns.

Cutaway illustration of a full bladder

Millions of Americans suffer with an overactive bladder.

Causes and Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

Risk of overactive bladder increases with age, mostly affecting women and men over the age of 40. Other risk factors include menopause and diseases that affect the spinal cord, such as strokes and multiple sclerosis.

Common symptoms associated with an overactive bladder include:

  • Urinary urgency – leaking may or may not occur
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Visiting the restroom to urinate more than eight times in a day

Should you experience any of these symptoms, an exam and consultation are the next practical step.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of overactive bladder requires a physical exam of the lower abdomen, the rectum, and the prostate in men. To evaluate your medical history, Dr. Hong may ask you questions concerning the severity and duration of your symptoms, which medications you are taking, your dietary habits, and past or current health issues. He may also ask you to keep a bladder diary. This aid to diagnosis requires patients to keep track of how much fluid they consume, how many times they go to the restroom, any incidents of urinary incontinence, and when these incidents occur (for example, when laughing or coughing).

During private consultations, Dr. Hong makes patients feel comfortable discussing medical concerns, which makes talking about the problem much easier.

Other tests to diagnose overactive bladder include:

  • Urine cultures
  • External bladder scans
  • Cystoscopy
  • Urodynamic testing
  • A symptom questionnaire

Treatment for Overactive Bladder

Treatment for overactive bladder can be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes. Attention to diet is important, because certain foods and drinks can make symptoms worse. Spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato products, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages should be avoided. Patients should also consider quitting smoking and exercising regularly. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises may also help reduce or prevent instances of incontinence. Other treatment options include medical and surgical procedures including Interstim™ and BOTOX® for the bladder. If you experience urinary incontinence, you may wish to use various products and devices, such special underwear, pads, and internal bladder support for women, to manage leakage and inconvenient incidents.

Contact Us for an Appointment

Dr. Hong has the experience and training to accurately diagnose overactive bladder, and to provide consultation and treatment to reduce or eliminate embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms. Contact one of our Phoenix, AZ, offices today to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Hong. Behind closed doors, you can explain your concerns to the doctor, and he will provide professional insight on possible causes and treatments for your condition. 

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