The symptoms of an overactive bladder (OAB) – feeling an urgency to urinate frequently – are quite common. Most studies indicate that about 15% of the U.S. population experiences OAB, although the percentage increases with age to approximately one-third of elderly individuals.
In some cases, OAB and urinary incontinence can effectively be treated with Botox injections. The American Urological Association’s (AUA) recent annual conference included an encouraging report on the procedure.
The report announced research demonstrating that Botox injections reduced urge incontinence episodes per day at 12 weeks. The effect remained stable at 24 to 36 weeks between each injection cycle. This means that patients can have greater control over longer periods of time.
The procedure itself involves the physician injecting Botox directly into the bladder muscle, partially paralyzing it to reduce over activity – but leaving enough control to empty the bladder voluntarily.
OAB can be particularly challenging because for many people, the cause is unknown. However, a patient can adopt lifestyle changes to help control the condition. Cutting down on caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus and spicy foods has shown positive results. In addition, women with OAB may experience improvement after performing pelvic floor exercises.
If you are suffering from untreated symptoms of OAB, the first step is to see a physician. While The Urology Group does offer Botox as one of many treatments for OAB, your doctor can evaluate your condition and help you determine if lifestyle changes or a procedure such as a Botox injection would be the best course of action.