We encourage women to arm themselves with information, push aside their embarrassment and have a discussion with a urologist or urogynecologist to find the right treatment option for them,” said Missy Lavender, Founder and Executive President of the Women's Health Foundation in a press release.
The good news is that taking the first step in having a conversation with your doctor may determine the cause for your overactive bladder symptoms.
OAB spasms occur for many reasons. They could be caused by a physical problem such as weakening bladder muscles due to childbirth; infection or illness; weight gain or certain medications, foods and beverages.
Sometimes no apparent cause of overactive bladder (idiopathic overactive bladder) can be determined.
Available treatments may greatly reduce or eliminate the symptoms and help you manage their effect on your daily life, and include muscle toning exercises, behavioral retraining, medications — and in rare circumstances, bladder reconstructive surgery.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2013 approved Oxytrol, the first-ever over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for OAB for women and should be available in stores Fall 2013.
The medicated patch was previously available as a prescription only. A prescription will still required for the treatment of OAB in men.
According to Merck, the makers of Oxytrol, FDA approval of the switch from prescription to over-the-counter (OTC)access was based on “data from several well-designed studies that demonstrated a woman’s ability to correctly recognize OAB symptoms, understand key safety messages on the label, judge if the product is right, or wrong, for her, and appropriately use it in an unsupervised setting.”
Eman Elkadry, M.D., Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Urogynecology Associates at Mount Auburn Hospital said in a press statement the OTC treatment option is “an exciting development for the millions of women who struggle to deal with OAB every day.” This gives many women a chance to independently manage their symptoms and achieve a sense of control.