Big thing is avoiding constipation, constipation is a big problem and the reason for that is because the rectum sits right behind the bladder, so when it gets full because you haven’t had a bowel movement, it actually pushes on the bladder making it have less room to expand so that you have more urgency and frequency and worse symptoms, lastly if you smoke you want to quit smoking, smoking not only worsens symptoms of overactive bladder but also a risk factor for bladder cancer, so it’s really important to quit smoking, you can also see a pelvic floor physical therapist and they can help you do exercises that can help retrain your bladder, so what i tell people is when you get the urge to urinate, it’s like a bell curve and when you hit that urge really strongly, you typically run to the bathroom before the urge goes away but if you wait and you distract yourself with quick kegel exercises, you’ll notice that the urge will slowly go away and after it goes away you can calmly walk to the bathroom, of course before you start any kegel exercises make sure you see a urologist to get an exam to make sure you don’t have other issues like a high toned pelvic floor that might be causing problems as well, if these don’t work then there are medications that are available to you that can help reduce either the contractions or squeeze of the bladder or can help the bladder relax, and if those don’t work there are still other treatments available, there are things like a bladder pacemaker, there’s also a bladder botox where we do injections in the bladder wall with botox that lasts about six to nine months, so it is a repeated procedure that’s done every six to nine months, but both that and the bladder pacemaker is about 80% effective in reducing symptoms of overactive bladder.

Lastly there’s percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation and that’s kind of like acupuncture where we put a little needle in the ankle that stimulates the posterior tibial nerve and that nerve goes all the way up to the roots that then stimulate the bladder and so actually stimulating that nerve for 30 minutes once a week for 12 weeks and then once a month after that can actually help people improve their symptoms about 60 to 70 percent, there’s also a new device on the market that’s an implantable device that can go in the ankle that will then automatically stimulate you at home so you don’t have to come to the office so frequently and that’s also in early studies, very promising showing up to 70% improvement in overactive bladder symptoms after a quick straightforward procedure in the office, so i want you to be rest assured that we have lots of tools in our toolbox to help improve your overactive bladder, so if you’re suffering please see a urologist and we can help improve your overactive bladder as always.

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