Overactive bladder is a problem where the bladder-storage function becomes impaired, resulting in a sudden urge to urinate. In some cases, the urge may be so strong that it can result in leaks before you can reach the bathroom – this is known as incontinence.
Overactive bladder can be an embarrassing condition to live with, especially when leaks occur. Furthermore, it can prevent you from living the life you want to live, because you are always worrying about going to the bathroom or finding the nearest bathroom.
Below you will find the signs and symptoms of overactive bladder along with the associated complications.
Symptoms of overactive bladder
Urinary urgency: In overactive bladder, the urge to urinate can be sudden and quite strong, which can result in an overwhelming need to urinate. In some cases, the urge can be so strong that it results in loss of urine, or incontinence.
Frequency of urination: The need to urinate in overactive bladder becomes more frequent than in someone without an overactive bladder. Even if you have just relieved yourself, you may have to make a return trip to the bathroom 10 minutes later.
Urge incontinence: Urge incontinence refers to a strong urge to urinate and often results in leaks because you cannot hold in that urge.
Nocturia: Nocturia, or nocturnal polyuria, is a condition characterized by excessive urination during the nighttime hours. Normally, when asleep, the body produces less urine that is more concentrated. This means, there is less urgency to urinate, which allows for an uninterrupted good night’s sleep. Those suffering from nocturia experience frequent urges to urinate, often resulting from an underlying health issue.
Complications of overactive bladder
Social and relationship challenges: Overactive bladder can be distressing and embarrassing, and a person suffering from an overactive bladder may start withdrawing from social interactions because of their condition. This can put stress and strain on their social life and relationships, because they no longer want to be out and about with others in fear of bladder problems.
Quality of life: All aspects of a person’s life become affected by an overactive bladder, because the person is worried about leaks, about finding a bathroom, and about the next urge to urinate. This can take a toll on their quality of life, as they may not take part in the activities they once enjoyed due to their overactive bladder.
Sexual activity: People suffering from overactive bladder will often refrain from sexual activity due to fear of leakage. Interrupting sex in order to go to the bathroom can deplete a person’s satisfaction, making sex less enjoyable.
Depression: Because patients with overactive bladder isolate themselves, live in fear and worry, and have a lower quality of life compared to those without overactive bladder, this can lead to depression.
Fatigue: Fatigue is a common complication in people with overactive bladder because they often do not get adequate sleep as a result of nocturia. They are waking up several times a night to urinate, which disrupts their sleep.
As you can see, the complications related to overactive bladder can negatively impact a person’s livelihood. This is why it is so important that you discuss treatment options of overactive bladder with your doctor in order to better manage the condition.