If you have a sudden and intense urge to urinate frequently, you may be wondering at what point do you see a doctor for an evaluation of overactive bladder. Here's how to decide whether or not it's time to seek a medical diagnosis and why.
Diminished Quality Of Life
If the frequent urge to urinate has caused your quality of life to be diminished, it's time to see a doctor for an evaluation. If you answer yes to these questions, your quality of life has been negativity impacted:
- you avoid traveling unless you are absolutely sure that you'll always be near a bathroom
- you need to use special supplies such as urinary incontinence pads or diapers
- you have turned down invitations to various places and events
- you upset your boss or supervisor due to taking too many bathroom breaks
- you avoid intimacy out of fear of getting the urge to urinate
When your quality of life is impacted from a medical condition such as overactive bladder, it can affect your mental health as well. Fortunately, overactive bladder can be treated. First, however, your doctor will want to do some tests to determine if there is an underlying neurological cause.
Common Causes Of Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused from a number of things, such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, tumors, bladder stones, enlarged prostate, constipation, and neurological disorders. Neurological disorders that may cause overactive neurogenic bladder includes stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, and others. Since some of these causes can be serious, it's important to have a medical evaluation to determine the cause of your overactive bladder. You can expect to undergo a variety of imaging and testing for the evaluation, particularly CT, MRI, X-rays, cystoscopy, and urodynamic studies.
Treatments Depend On The Cause
If the cause of the overactive bladder can be effectively treated, doing so may resolve the overactive bladder. For example, syringomyelia (a cyst in the spinal cord) can cause overactive bladder. If the cyst is removed, the overactive bladder may resolve. If the cause is a tumor, the tumor will be removed and that may improve the overactive bladder.
Prescription medication is used to treat overactive bladder, along with nerve stimulation, catheterization, and/or physical therapy. For severe overactive bladder, surgery to remove the bladder or reduce the size of the bladder may be necessary. Your doctor can help you decide on which treatments would be best for you to try to get control over your overactive bladder.