Don’t Be Shy to Talk About Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

Birds flying in the sky. Text: Don’t Be Shy to Talk About Overactive Bladder (OAB)

“OAB is a normal thing as part of ageing process”, said a retired civil servant, Julia, 66. Also there are some who take it as a lifestyle change. “I always know where the toilet is,” said Stephen, 51, a lead structural engineer.

Mary, 41, a lawyer said, “I’m afraid to get intimate.”

“If I stay up at night, I am afraid of falling but if I’m not getting up, I’m afraid that I will wet my bed,” said a retired mechanic, Adam, 77.

Who are they? They are the group who are unaware of overactive bladder (OAB).

The reality is, OAB not only make one worries, but can be humiliating and limiting daily activities of the person with the problem.

Coincidentally, OAB rarely makes a talking point among the society but it actually affects million of people irrespective of their age and sex.

Therefore, to increase public concern about the OAB problem, some early measures must be taken to help patients to overcome their shyness.

Among them, patients must be encouraged to discuss about OAB problem. Beside that, patients need to be educated that OAB is not a normal ageing process but instead, is a common problem but need medical treatment.

Most patients manage the problem themselves because there is no screening tool that enables OAB to be detected besides knowing its symptoms.

Research done in several clinics in Malaysia has found that 35 percent of patient who experience OAB never discuss their symptoms with doctors. 83 percent of 450 people aging 30 years and above still feel that OAB can be overcome. While 25 percent of others think that it is not an important matter.

From the amount, only 14.7 percent were diagnosed with OAB and 58.8 percent is undetectable because problem when taking urine test during normal visit.

Meanwhile, Dr. Andrea Tubaro, a urology consultant in University of Rome, Italy, told that 11 to 22 percent of adults age 40 and above in Europe, Asia and the US suffer OAB.

Dr. Andrea said, research shown that OAB also attack young people.

Research also shown that OAB is very common experienced by people in the world compared to other diseases such as asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer and cancer.


Based on researches done it is found that the difference of the number between men and women who get treatment for OAB is so not so apparent.

However, what the most obvious shown by research is many did not discuss about their bladder control problem with doctors because thinking that nothing can be done or too shy to discuss about it.

Female patients for example, feel uncomfortable to get treatment by male doctors since at this time most urologist are men. In fact, many in the West also did not come forward to seek doctor’s treatment.

He said, most OAB cases detected by doctors were not when the person is getting the treatment for the problem, but because of testing for other disease.

Dr. Andrea said, although OAB make life routines of a person affected, most people still did not get treatment.

Without being notice by patients, OAB causes their sleep time disturbed and feeling tired because have to often go to toilet.

Symptoms of OAB

Symptoms experience by men and women are similar but it’s anatomically different. For men, signs of OAB often lead to prostate gland.

Symptoms of OAB may begin as a small problem. The frequency to urinate will increase, and eventually will become too urging and finally generate more serious urge incontinence symptoms.

Treatments for Overactive Bladder (OAB) Problem

Patients are trained to do simple physiotherapy exercises like pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises at home, which are very effective.

For men otherwise, frequently holding the urge to urinate may help to lengthen the time in between each time going to toilet. The person also can do exercises to retrain the urine bladder and strengthening the muscles that support the urine bladder and the urethra (a tube which the urine flows in).

Other therapies including change of eating habits and behavior, using electrical stimulation, exercising and biological feedback.

Changes of eating habit can be done includes to reduce drinking water at night, not taking caffeine and adding the intake of fiber in foods.

For behavior therapy among strategies to control urine leakage is stopping and standing up, calmly and body rested walking toward the toilet in normal condition.

The No.1 and most common drug to treat OAB is an antimuscarinic (dry mouth and constipation are common side effects). In northern countries in Europe, physiotherapy with drugs is a common practice. This, however, requires a lot of participation from the patient (twice a day, every day of one’s life) but it works. Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt

Sponsored links: