Some things in life are not a laughing matter. Certainly not for more than 33 million Americans who suffer from OAB — overactive bladder. It’s humiliating. It’s embarrassing. And, it can be dangerous. The good news is there are treatments available, including PTNS nerve stimulation. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, or PTNS, could improve urinary symptoms.
Tibial Nerve Stimulation
The tibial nerve is part of a network of nerves that stretches from the sole of the feet and toes to the spinal cord and including the area of the body where the bladder is located. It has been discovered that when the tibial nerve is stimulated with mild electric pulses, the voiding sensation created by OAB is significantly reduced after several applications of the PTNS procedure.
There are several standard treatments for OAB including lifestyle changes, bladder training, pelvic muscle exercises, biofeedback, pharmacologic therapy, surgery and implanted nerve stimulators. But PTNS nerve stimulation is one of the more effective, less invasive procedures.
If you are experiencing a sudden and unexpected urge to urinate that triggers the involuntary loss of urine, or incontinence, you have OAB. It can be associated with neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, but in most cases the cause is unknown. OAB can significantly impact quality of life; it can impact physical functioning, sexual function and social interactions.
Experiencing occasional incontinence doesn’t mean you have an overactive bladder. Urine leakage can occur for other reasons, too. And, it can happen if you’re laughing too hard. But, a diagnosis of incontinence, or OAB, is determined by the frequency and urgency of urination that can be different for each individual.
Symptoms of OAB Include:
• An urgent and uncontrollable need to urinate.
• Frequent involuntary loss of urine.
• Frequent urination (more than eight times in a 24-hour period).
• Waking up more than twice a night to use the bathroom.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms and signs of OAB, you need to see your doctor who will refer you to a urologist. The urologist will explore the various possible causes of your OAB and determine the most effective treatment for the condition.
Conditions and Factors
The different conditions and factors that can cause the symptoms of an overactive bladder include:
• Drinking too much fluid.
• Taking medications that increase urine production.
• Urinary tract infections.
• Consumption of caffeine, alcohol or other bladder irritants.
• Failure to completely empty the bladder.
• Bladder abnormalities, such as bladder stones.
Talk to Your Doctor
An overactive bladder condition is often underreported because many people are embarrassed to discuss the topic. But medical science has come a long way in understanding and treating this OAB.
The most important thing to do if you have symptoms of overactive bladder is talk to your doctor, including whether PTNS nerve stimulation is right for you. Together you can develop a treatment plan.
Urology Experts Serving Southwest Florida
Dr. Alejandro Miranda-Sousa at Urology Experts in Southwest Florida is passionate about keeping his patients happy and restoring quality of life. If someone you know would like to learn more about OAB and PTNS nerve stimulation, feel free to contact us today.