Using Botox to Calm Your Overactive Bladder

Using Botox to Calm Your Overactive Bladder

When you hear the word Botox®, chances are you think about eliminating wrinkles and achieving younger-looking skin. But at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, we think about Botox as a key part of helping to control overactive bladder

Our team of board-certified urologists understands better than most the embarrassment and frustration urinary accidents bring. That’s why we offer a line of services dedicated to helping our patients control their bladders. 

If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, take a moment to learn more about overactive bladder and how simple and effective Botox injections can help.  

Overactive bladder 101

Overactive bladder, sometimes called urgency incontinence or urge incontinence, is a type of urinary incontinence experienced most frequently by older women. The main symptom is a sudden and desperate need to pee. 

With overactive bladder, this urge to urinate is so strong that women often struggle to hold back urine and experience leaks. This can occur even when your bladder is nearly empty to begin with.  

The urge triggered by overactive bladder is due to the misfiring of the muscles that work to control your bladder. This misfiring causes your bladder muscle, called the detrusor, to contract — before your bladder is full. 

When your detrusor contracts, it sends a signal that you need to urinate, whether or not you physically need to go. Doctors call this overactive bladder muscle “detrusor overactivity.” 

For most people with overactive bladder, there’s no known trigger or cause that leads to the condition. Sometimes, however, a physical or neurological issue can cause the condition. This includes health conditions like: 

Your Urological Associates provider conducts a number of physical evaluations and tests to accurately diagnose you with overactive bladder. 

Using Botox to treat overactive bladder

When most people think of Botox, they think of wrinkle treatments and younger-looking skin — not your bladder. But Botox was initially created to treat eye spasms and twitches. 

Its ability to relax twitching muscles led to an exploration of additional applications — including those that cause wrinkles and those that contribute to overactive bladder.

Botox works by relaxing the muscles into which it’s injected. When your provider at Urological Associates injects the detrusor muscle with Botox, the neurotoxin blocks the signal that causes your bladder muscle to spasm. 

This alleviates the sudden and desperate need to urinate, though it may take about a week for you to notice the effects. You can expect your results to last about six months, at which point you’ll need to visit the office for a follow-up injection.  

Other help for overactive bladder

Botox isn’t the first line of defense in treating overactive bladder, and it’s not your only option. Your provider at Urological Associates creates a customized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms, needs, and overall health. Other treatments used before, with, or instead of Botox may include:

To learn more about Botox for overactive bladder or the other treatments available, contact Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, by calling 434-295-0184 or book an appointment online now.  

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