Overactive bladder (OAB) affects almost 50 percent of women in the United States, presenting as urinary urgency and frequency, with or without urinary leakage.
Many women experiencing OAB are too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms; however, OAB may severely impact one’s quality of life and emotional well-being. Many patients tend to limit their physical activities and social gatherings due to embarrassment. There are also women who believe this is a natural part of aging, and do not seek treatment.
As a clinician, one of the most rewarding parts of the clinical visit is counseling patients about this disorder and providing reassurance that even though age is a risk factor for overactive bladder, it does not have to be an accepted part of aging. I enjoy providing them with hope and encouragement to seek treatment.
The overactive bladder treatment pathway focuses on conservative and medical treatments initially. While most patients will improve, some will continue to have persistent, bothersome symptoms. These patients are great candidates for advanced treatment options that are offered at our new Center for Continence and Pelvic Health. These include Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS), intradetrusor bladder botox injections, and sacral neuromodulation.
Sacral neuromodulation is an FDA-approved treatment for refractory overactive bladder, urge incontinence, and non-obstructive urinary retention, as well as fecal incontinence. It is a form of peripheral nerve stimulation that involves placing a low-intensity chronic stimulation to the S3 sacral spinal nerve. A electrode lead with four contact points is inserted percutaneously under fluoroscopic guidance and anchored in placed by tines, and connected to an implantable pulse generator under the skin.
Our center offers in-office testing using a single electrode lead called a peripheral nerve evaluation (PNE) to determine if candidates improve enough to offer the full implant to lead and generator in the operating room.
Our team can help determine the best course of action for individuals experiencing overactive bladder, so they may regain control of their symptoms and get back to their enjoyment of life.