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Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder services offered in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, WA

As many as 1 in 11 Americans have an overactive bladder that causes a frequent need to urinate. Bellingham Urology Group in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington, provides complete care for overactive bladders. In addition to conservative options, the board-certified urologists use cutting-edge treatments such as Botox® bladder injections and sacral nerve stimulation to ease symptoms. Call Bellingham Urology Group or book an appointment online today to discover how you could benefit from the latest overactive bladder treatments.

What is an overactive bladder? 

An overactive bladder causes various problems, including urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage), frequent urination, and nocturia (the need to urinate repeatedly at night). 

People with an overactive bladder typically urinate at least eight times during the day and wake two or more times overnight to urinate. Women with overactive bladders typically suffer from urgency incontinence and urine leakage or gushing.

What causes an overactive bladder?

An overactive bladder develops when the nerves controlling muscles around your bladder malfunction. They transmit messages that make the bladder muscles contract without warning, causing urinary frequency and incontinence.

Without treatment, overactive bladder symptoms can reduce your quality of life and may affect your mental and physical health. An overactive bladder also increases the risk of falls in older people, which might result in broken bones and other injuries.

How is an overactive bladder diagnosed? 

To diagnose an overactive bladder, your Bellingham Urology Group provider reviews your medical records and talks to you about your symptoms. They’ll ask when you began experiencing symptoms, if they’re worse at particular times, and if substances such as alcohol or caffeine make them worse. 

Next, your urologist performs a physical exam and orders tests such as urinalysis to check for infections. They may perform a bladder ultrasound scan to see if you have any abnormalities like tumors. 

How is an overactive bladder treated? 

Treatment for an overactive bladder varies according to symptom severity, age, and the underlying cause. To begin with, Bellingham Urology Group recommends healthy lifestyle changes, which might include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Eating a balanced diet

If these changes aren’t enough to control your overactive bladder symptoms, your urologist might prescribe medications like oxybutynin or tolterodine to reduce muscle spasms in your bladder. 

Bellingham Urology Group also offers minimally invasive overactive bladder treatments, including: 

Botox bladder injections 

Botox medical injections contain botulinum toxin, which interferes with signals between the nerves and muscles controlling your bladder. This reduces the muscle spasms that cause overactive bladder symptoms.

Sacral nerve stimulation

Sacral nerve stimulation involves the surgical implantation of an electrode into your lower back that reduces abnormal nerve signals. InterStim® sacral nerve stimulation is highly effective in helping you regain control of your bladder function long term.

Call Bellingham Urology Group today or schedule a consultation online for expert overactive bladder diagnosis and treatment.