If you’ve been suffering with an overactive bladder and the irritating effects aren’t going away, it might be time to consult a doctor. There may be ways to ease the discomfort, even if you can’t make it go away altogether. If these five issues are bothering you, consider making a doctor’s appointment:
1. Getting up at night
One major complaint with overactive bladder is frequent urination at night, called nocturia. While it’s not uncommon to have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, when it happens more than once every night for several nights, it’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep. This can lead to a whole bunch of other problems related to fatigue, as well as affecting your mental well-being.
2. Urinating too often
Having to go to the bathroom too often can make it hard to work or to enjoy life. Not many work environments make it easy to go to the bathroom frequently, and some make it outright impossible. Imagine being a bus driver, a nurse, or a teacher and needing to urinate every few minutes. If you’re not at work, it can be hard to relax and have fun while going to a movie, out to dinner, out for a bike ride, or even traveling because you need to be near a bathroom at all times.
3. Leaking urine
Sometimes along with the very strong urge to urinate comes some dribbling or leaking of urine. While some people manage this by wearing special pads or underwear, for others, this can be difficult to manage—and embarrassing. This is called urgency incontinence.
4. Burning and irritation
Burning and irritation can be signs of something more than overactive bladder. If you have frequent strong urges to urinate, you could have a bladder infection, also called a urinary tract infection or cystitis. This is a serious infection that usually needs to be treated with antibiotics. A bladder infection that is not treated could move up to the kidneys and become much more serious very quickly.
5. Change in your urine
If your urine becomes very concentrated, changes color, or begins to have an odor, these are also signs of a possible bladder infection. Healthy urine should be the pale color of straw and only have a mild odor.
Dealing with an overactive bladder may require some trial-and-error before you find what works for you. By working together with your doctor, you may be able to find some relief and avoid having to make so many trips to the bathroom.