Be Proactive in Treating Overactive Bladder
Dr. Babak Vakili and Dr. Emily Saks
Do you sometimes feel a strong urge to urinate but can’t make it to the bathroom? When you go to a new place do you find yourself looking for the nearest public restroom? Are you familiar with every public bathroom in Delaware?
If so, you might have a combination of conditions of the bladder known as urinary urge incontinence/overactive bladder. Urinary urge incontinence is the sudden and strong urge to urinate alongside the inability to make it to the bathroom, while overactive bladder is the increased sensation of urgency with an increased need to urinate throughout the day and possibly the night – though without the leaking urine.
Urinary incontinence is a very common problem which affects approximately 50 percent of women over the age of 50 years old. More women have incontinence then breast cancer, depression or diabetes.
To understand urge incontinence/overactive bladder, you have to first understand how the normal bladder functions. Urine is produced 24 hours a day in the kidneys, traveling down tubes to the bladder where it is stored until you urinate. The bladder wall senses how much urine the bladder is holding and
transmits this information to the brain. The brain collects this information and when the bladder becomes full, a signal will be transmitted to a different part of the brain, enabling you to feel the urge to urinate.
Once you feel the urge to urinate, you must decide whether you are going to drop everything and urinate or put it off for a more convenient time. If you decide to put it off, then the urge will stop; however, the bladder is still full and will continue to fill as the kidneys produce urine. Later – usually 30 to 45 minutes – you will feel another, more intense urge. This cycle will continue until eventually the urine leaks out or you go to the bathroom.
In urge incontinence/overactive bladder, the ability of the bladder to sense the amount of urine it is holding is malfunctioning. Your bladder senses that it is holding more urine then it really is and is sending the wrong signals to the brain. People with this condition feel as if they have been putting off going to the bathroom for hours when in fact they have not.
Urge incontinence/overactive bladder is evaluated through both a detailed history and a thorough
physical exam. At times, further office testing may be necessary.
The Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery offers state of the art treatment options for urge incontinence/overactive bladder, including behavioral modifications, individual exercise programs for the pelvic floor muscles and medications. If these more conservative options do not achieve the desired effect, we can also offer a pacemaker for the bladder that will correct the signaling in the bladder so that the right message is transmitted to the brain.
At the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery you will be evaluated by the only fellowship-trained physicians in the state of Delaware. We specialize in treating women with pelvic floor problems including urinary urge incontinence/overactive bladder.
Howard B. Goldstein, D.O., MPH, is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. He currently serves as the Director of Research and Education for the Division of Urogynecology.
Emily K. Saks, M.D., MSCE, is a urogynecologist with the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Saks completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and has completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the Hospital of the University of
Babak Vakili, M.D. is the director of the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Vakili is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans, LA.
The Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery is located in Suite 1208 of Medical Arts Pavilion 2, on the campus of Christiana Hospital in Newark. Appointments are also available at the Christiana Care Center for Women’s Health, 3706 Kennett Pike in Greenville. To schedule an appointment, call 302-623-4055.