Feature Article

Overactive bladder in women: advances in management

William MA Kuteesa, Kate Moore

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Abstract

Overactive bladder is an important cause of urinary incontinence in women. Several new treatment options are available, but bladder training remains an essential part of management.

Key Points

  • The clinical syndrome of overactive bladder (OAB) is a common cause of urinary incontinence in women.
  • The unpredictable nature of OAB results in greater anxiety and depression than is seen in women suffering stress incontinence.
  • Symptoms of OAB include frequency, urgency and nocturia (with or without urge incontinence).
  • Urodynamic testing is not always indicated but may be useful for women who have symptoms of both stress incontinence and OAB.
  • Nurse continence advisors and continence physiotherapists provide bladder training services.
  • Treatment with bladder training and anticholinergic drug therapy is readily achieved in the general practice setting.

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