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The Surprising Treatment Option for Your Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder

Urinary incontinence due to an overactive bladder has a high potential for embarrassment, since the urge to urinate isn’t predictable or easy to control. In many cases, it’s due to involuntary contractions of your bladder muscles, contractions that have no relationship to the fullness of your bladder. If you’ve ever had a strong urge to urinate that produces little volume, you’ll know how inconvenient this can be, interrupting your regular activities and potentially causing distress when there’s no convenient restroom facility. If you have a problem with urinary incontinence, the helpful staff at Southeast Urogyn may be able to treat you with Botox®.

Normal bladder function

When your bladder works normally, nerves begin to send impulses to your brain as urine accumulates. These signals increase as your bladder fills, typically in a controllable way, giving you plenty of time to find a bathroom to urinate. You control the muscle relaxation and contraction signals necessary to empty your bladder at the proper time.

Involuntary bladder contractions

If your bladder is working normally, but you resist the urge to urinate, eventually your bladder muscles will contract involuntarily to relieve the pressure. The condition called overactive bladder happens when these involuntary contractions happen when your bladder isn’t full. In fact, you could experience this immediately after urinating.

Causes of overactive bladder

These involuntary bladder muscle contractions happen for a wide range of reasons, and in some cases the specific cause may not be easy to identify. Conditions that may contribute to overactive bladder include:

Often, treating the underlying contributor to overactive bladder can relieve the problem. However, there are cases where there are multiple contributors or unknown causes.

Botox to the rescue

While many people may be surprised to hear that a cosmetic injectable treatment can help with overactive bladder, it’s a logical solution when you understand the history of Botox and how it works. Derived from the botulinum neurotoxin, Botox produces a mild but long-lasting paralytic effect where it’s injected.

Originally developed to treat spasming eye muscles that affect patients’ vision, Botox was found to also relax muscles that cause active wrinkles, such as crow’s feet and worry lines. Chances are you first heard of Botox as a wrinkle treatment.

This ability to selectively relax muscles with Botox injections continues to find applications, such as treating migraines, and since overactive bladder results from involuntary muscle contractions, Botox injections help there, too.

FDA-approved treatment

Approved in 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of overactive bladder, Botox proves effective for patients who can’t adequately control bladder incontinence through other methods. Clinical trials show that more than half of the patients receiving Botox for overactive bladder cut daily episodes of bladder incontinence by 50% or more. About a quarter of those reporting improvements found that bladder leakage stopped entirely.

When your life revolves around planning bathroom stops, or when you avoid activities due to bladder leakage, call the urinary incontinence specialists at Southeast Urogyn to learn more about your treatment options, including Botox for overactive bladder.

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