Identifying Whether You’ve OAB, Urinary Incontinence or UTI and Dealing Effectively with the Condition

When a person has overactive bladder or OAB, their bladder cannot hold urine due to which they might get a sudden urge to urinate or even experience an accidental urine leakage.

In urinary incontinence, the person totally loses control over the bladder. Its cause can be as simple as too much fluid consumption or more serious such as a UTI or urinary tract infection.

Image Courtesy: mycontinence.com

Causes of OAB and UTI

Lifestyle Causes of OAB

OAB takes place when the muscles that control the bladder function begin functioning involuntarily. Many things can cause OAB including lifestyle, e.g. if you drink big quantities of alcohol and caffeine.

Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics i.e. they cause the body to generate more urine.

Medical Causes of OAB

Some health conditions can also cause OAB. These include a stroke, nervous system problems like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), kidney disease and diabetes.

In men, there can be another cause i.e. an enlarged prostate. Acute UTIs can cause symptoms that resemble those of OAB in both women and men.

UTIs

UTIs most commonly happen when bacteria move up the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside.

Women’s urethra is shorter due to which bacteria can easily reach bladder and thrive. Around 50%-60% women suffer from a UTI in their life.

The most common UTI is cystitis which occurs in adult premenopausal women. It just involves bladder and urethra. Typically these infections take place when bacteria travel from anus to urethra.

Some women however are more vulnerable to these infections after sexual activity. Also, the deficit of estrogen following menopause makes the urinary tract more prone to infection.

Treatment of OAB, Incontinence and UTI

OAB and Incontinence

OAB and incontinence can be treated in various ways. Pelvic floor exercises can help by firming the muscles around the bladder neck and urethra.

Treatment for urinary incontinence in Australia by My Continence can also involve oral medications to reduce symptoms or advanced treatment like Urgent PC.

Urgent PC is a Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) neuromodulator that works by stimulating the nerves in the sacral plexus through mild electrical impulses.

You can also get an effective overactive bladder medication from My Continence.

Image Courtesy: mycontinence.com

UTI

Because various bacteria can cause UTIs, the first line of treatment is antibiotics. Your doctor will choose antibiotics depending on severity of the infection, your health and the type of bacteria.

An abrupt and frequent urge to urinate commonly occurs in OAB as well as in a UTI. If you’re not experiencing other symptoms like pain while urinating, you may have an OAB and not a UTI.

The OAB symptoms will be persistent whereas UTI symptoms are abrupt and may also be associated with a fever.

Although both these problems are irritating, they are treatable and require medical help for exact diagnosis and treatment.

It’s important to discuss with your doctor if you observe any changes in your urination patterns, including urgency and frequency.

Identify the condition and take the right treatment so as to deal effectively with the problem you have.

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