Millions of men and women experience urinary incontinence. Not only the condition is troubling, taking frequent breaks at work— especially during long meetings, client lunches or customer calls— can affect your day’s productivity.
An overactive bladder, also known as urge incontinence, is a type of urinary incontinence when you may feel many strong, sudden urges to urinate throughout the day and night, unable to hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. 1
Symptoms include an urgent need to urinate often, waking up to urinate two or more times at night, a need to urinate even if you have just gone to the bathroom, taking many bathroom trips only to urinate a small amount each time, and leaking urine when you feel the urge to urinate. 2
In a recent media roundtable about urinary incontinence, Dr. Marie Carmela Lapitan, training officer of Urology and residency training at the Philippine General Hospital shared that urinary incontinence is very common in older people due to weakened or overactive bladder muscles and several other medical conditions, but menopausal women tend to experience this more than men.
“An overactive bladder may be caused by damages in the bladder’s nerves, muscles or the nervous system. Stress, bladder infections, bladder stones, medications, and several health conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and stroke may contribute as well,” said Dr. Lapitan.
Several ways to handle an overactive bladder include using absorbent incontinence pads, avoiding coffee and excessive water intake, and training your bladder (taking planned bathroom trips every two hours, gradually increasing the gap by letting the urge pass). 1
“Urinary incontinence can greatly affect life as you may need to drop anything you’re doing just to rush to the bathroom. It can cause sleeping problems, depression and urinary tract infections. But it can get better with treatment so don’t be shy to consult and talk with your doctor about it,” Dr. Lapitan said.