Every year, more than 33 million Americans suffer from having an overactive bladder. Urology of St. Louis (USL), the largest private urologic practice in St. Louis and the Metro East is raising awareness about when is the right time to see a urologist and what steps you can take to get this condition under control.
Symptoms of an overactive bladder include the sudden urge to urinate, urinating more than eight times within 24 hours and waking up more than once a night to urinate. Having an overactive bladder is a symptom of urinary incontinence, which is the leaking of urine you can’t control.
“I recommend people come to see a urologist when it becomes a problem that is impacting your day-to-day life,” said urologist Dr. Elizabeth Williams. “A lot of people think this is a normal part of aging, but I like to tell my patients that just because it is common doesn’t mean it is normal. If your life is constantly revolving around whether there is a bathroom within reach, then you may be suffering from an overactive bladder or urinary incontinence. Seeing an expert and getting the right diagnosis is the first step for getting your life back.”
Dr. Williams is the only female urologist in the Metro East that is fellowship-trained in female pelvic medicine. She said having an overactive bladder is a common condition for female patients that she treats daily. She works directly alongside the patient to figure out how to best manage symptoms and navigate what the best treatment plan is.
“I recommend patients start with simple lifestyle changes like making sure they aren’t drinking too much water, especially right before bed,” said Dr. Williams. “Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake can also help improve symptoms since certain beverages can just further irritate your bladder and make you use the bathroom even more. If these lifestyle adjustments don’t help improve a patient’s condition, we specialize in safe, simple procedures that can make a dramatic difference in a patient’s quality of life.”
Dr. Williams said two common treatment options she performs regularly include Botox injections and sacral neuromodulation. Botox injections help relax bladder muscles which can help provide more time to find a bathroom before urination. The technology behind the second recommended procedure, sacral neuromodulation, is similar to a pacemaker, but instead of a heart, it helps rewire the abnormal signaling between the sacral nerves and the bladder.
USL offers treatment for a wide range of urological conditions including prostate cancer, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, sexual health, benign prostatic hyperplasia, kidney stones, kidney cancer, vasectomies and erectile dysfunction. For more information about their telehealth services or to find a list of locations, visit their website at stlurology.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.