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How to treat OAB in men and women for better bladder health

The Pervasiveness of OAB and the Emerging Treatments for Better Bladder Control

While Overactive Bladder (OAB) is not a men’s or women’s health issue that garners much attention, according to the Mayo Clinic’s “Evaluation and Treatment of Overactive Bladder in Women,” “It is highly prevalent, affecting up to 12% of the adult population, and can significantly impact quality of life.”

As November is Bladder Health Month, read on to learn more about OAB in men and women and effective treatment options for better bladder control.

Understanding OAB

OAB has a higher prevalence because it is not a disease, but rather, a group of urinary symptoms. These symptoms range from incontinence to the sudden urge to urinate to the frequent need to urinate.

Most commonly, these symptoms are the result of overactive muscles in the bladder because of issues with the nerve signals between the bladder and brain.

The Wide-Reaching Effects of OAB

As the research in the Mayo Clinic’s journal iterates, OAB extends far past the initial discomfort it causes. Physicians agree that for both men and women, OAB is a quality of life issue.

Both men and women who suffer from OAB have noted that their work and social life as well as their exercise and sleep schedules have suffered because of their symptoms.

Those are not the only adverse effects of OAB, however. Both men and women have noted the toll that OAB takes on their sexual enjoyment and activity, and research backs up these claims. A study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine entitled “Overactive Bladder is Associated with Erectile Dysfunction and Reduced Sexual Quality of Life in Men” explored this correlation for men specifically in a case-control analysis. Based on their study, the researchers concluded that, “OAB, as defined by the ICS, was significantly associated with increased prevalence of ED, reduced sexual activity and sexual enjoyment because of urinary symptoms, and reduced sexual satisfaction.”

The Exploration for Effective OMB Treatment Options

As the medical community has begun to gain a broader understanding of the adverse effects of OAB, they have sought to find effective forms of treatment for managing these symptoms. Medications and pelvic floor exercises used to be the go-to solutions for better bladder control, but for those with high-moderate to severe OAB, these options simply weren’t enough.

Thus, two treatment options emerged that have shown promise in effectively treating OAB when other treatments have failed: Botox ® and the InterStim (™) device.

Physicians have found that placing Botox ® directly in the bladder muscle can block the nerve signals that trigger OAB. And according to the research study “Overactive bladder and sexual function: a nightmare couple,” published in BJU International, several studies have shown the effectiveness of this use of Botox ® in treating OAB.

Another form of treatment that has demonstrated effectiveness in research studies is the InterStim (™) device, an FDA-approved form of sacral neuromodulation (SNM) for women. A physician inserts the Interstim device, which has a neuro-stimulator that moderates the signals traveling along the bladder nerve, into the lower back through a two-phase procedure. According to the Mayo Clinic’s “Evaluation and Treatment of Overactive Bladder in Women,” “SNM had a significantly greater proportion of therapeutic success compared with anticholinergic medical therapy.”

About OAB Treatment at ChristiMD Medical Group

At ChristiMD Medical Group, we offer both Botox ®, Interstim (™)  implantation, and other treatment options to help you achieve better bladder control.

Dr. Christi has over 12 years of experience with bladder Botox, and is among the first urologists to use the treatment. She has been helping patients achieve better bladder control with this treatment for over eight years.

Many female patients have also drastically improved their bladder leakage issues after having an Interstim device implanted by Dr. Christi. Dr. Christi has successfully implanted many successful Interstim devices, with life-changing results. Over the years she has mastered the procedure and studied the optimal device placement for best results, making her the premier physician at performing this procedure in the Katy and Houston, Texas area.

Dr. Underwood at ChristiMD has a vast amount of experience helping manage and treat OAB and the adverse effects of OAB in male patients and is happy to discuss treatment options such as the InterStim (™) and UroLift ®. Dr. Underwood is also highly skilled in the UroLift procedure which improves the symptoms of OAB and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

If you have any additional questions on OAB or would like to schedule a consultation, please reach out at 281.717.4003.