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Overactive Bladder

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Overactive Bladder (OAB) is quite a prevalent problem in both the female and male population. It can exist both with and without urinary incontinence. OAB is defined as having frequency and urgency of urination that is abnormal.

Frequency of urination is abnormal if it occurs more than 8 times a day during waking hours, while urgency is abnormal if it is uncontrollable or painful. It can occur with and without incontinence, known as urge incontinence.

OAB with incontinence is also known as OAB-Wet, while simple OAB without incontinence is known as OAB-Dry. About 1/3 of women with OAB have OAB-wet. 85% of women with OAB will present with frequency, while 50% will have urgency.

Approx. 21 million adults in the US (10%) will have OAB-Dry, while 6.1 million (12% of the adult pop.) will have OAB-Wet.

Because of embarrassment only about 1/2 of all patients bring it up with their physician.


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HERWriter Guide

Hi Diane - Kegel exercises are a natural way to deal with overactive bladder conditions. They help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and some women have found, to their delight, that Kegels can help lead to enhanced sexual pleasure.
Here's a link to more information. Take good care, Pat

October 15, 2009 - 6:11pm

Dr. Karlovsky,

Great post on something that's a big topic right now. There are so many commercials on television these days for medicines that have to do with controlling the bladder that it seems like a common problem. But for those suffering from OAB, are there things they can do to improve their condition without medication?

September 3, 2009 - 8:26am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

Besides Kegels, avoiding certain stimulants from foods or drinks (citrus, acid, processed cheeses and foods, vinager, caffiene, alcohol), avoifing constipation, warm baths. I have seen only sporadic success with herbals in treating OAB.
-Dr. K.

October 21, 2009 - 5:23am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks Dr. K for the additional information! Pat

October 21, 2009 - 5:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

Men too suffer from Over Active Bladder! It is NOT always an enlarged Prostate. However It is difficult to get this problem accepted and recognized. Men are either embarrassed or afraid of a malignant prostate diagnosis.
Please start including men in this dialog.

September 2, 2009 - 10:15am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Overactive Bladder can occur in men whom I treat often for it, and it is related directly to enlarged prostate. But......since this is a WOMAN'S health site, we focus on women here. And, the cause of OAB is different in women since you don't need to consider the prostate although often the treatments are the same.

-Matthew Karlovsky, M.D.

October 14, 2009 - 1:01pm
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