The condition causes frequent urination both day and night and a sudden urge to urinate without adequate time to get to a restroom before experiencing leakage. It’s caused by spontaneous spasms or muscular contractions of the bladder wall. Overactive bladder may occur infrequently, creating a temporary nuisance. It can also become increasingly frequent and greatly interfere with most daily activities, to the point where even a quick trip to the grocery store can be interrupted by several detours to the restroom.
Stimulants such as caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol may cause frequent bladder spasms. The dysfunction sometimes is due to medication side effects, urinary tract infection, obesity, or nerve dysfunction associated with diabetes. Pelvic floor disorders, such as a prolapsing or drooping bladder may be the cause the problem. Sometimes no specific cause is discovered. Dr. Antonini will perform a thorough exam and diagnostic studies to determine the cause of your overactive bladder, if possible, and design a comprehensive treatment plan that’s tailored to fit your situation.
Treatments for overactive bladder may include:
Probably best known for its use in the cosmetic battle against fine lines and wrinkles, Botox is derived from botulinum, which is a neurotoxin that essentially paralyzes muscles. When injected into the bladder wall in specially formulated doses, Botox relaxes the muscles and thus prevents the spasms associated with overactive bladder. It’s an effective option for patients who don’t respond to oral medications or have difficulty tolerating them due to side effects.
The procedure is performed in the office and takes less than 20-30 minutes to complete. Many women report a complete resolution of urinary incontinence while others report significantly fewer episodes. Botox injections are not a permanent fix for overactive bladder but can be repeated when necessary or after a prescribed waiting period. Results are relatively long lasting, however – typically nine months to one year.
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