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Overactive Bladder In Men

May 25th, 2017

Overactive Bladder In Men

Overactive Bladder In Men

Overactive bladder (OAB) is classified under urinary disorders that are fairly common in both men and women. This condition may present with a wide range of signs and symptoms. The most frequently reported symptom being urinary incontinence which may lead to unwanted leaks. Other related symptoms include:

  • Split urine stream
  • Forced urination
  • Difficulty in starting urination

What Causes Overactive Bladder In Men?

According to latest estimates, about 11 – 16% men develops OAB with symptoms with advancing age. The most common factor that contributes to OAB in men is prostate enlargement which disrupts the urinary flow. Other causes of OAB in men include:

  • Being on certain medications
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Issues associated to mobility
  • Bladder stones
  • Constipation
  • Infections of bladder or urinary tract
  • Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

Treatment Of Overactive Bladder In Men

After taking a urinary tract history, the doctor may recommend following physical exams for the assessment of OAB:

  • Sphincter exam
  • Neurological exam
  • Rectal exam (to rule out all organic issues of prostate gland)

Patient’s urine sample may also be taken for analysis.

Lifestyle Modification

Sometimes unhealthy lifestyle may cause various symptoms of OAB. Therefore, switching to a healthier lifestyle can help alleviate such symptoms


Certain foods can worsen the OAB symptoms therefore it is important to stick to a healthy diet. Cutting down the consumption of alcohol and caffeine may be very helpful to some people as both of them are diuretics and only add up to the urinary volume.

Smoking and Higher Risk of Overactive Bladder imageFollowing must also be avoided during OAB treatment:

  • Artificial sweeteners and aspartame
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cranberry juice (also a diuretic)
  • Fluid intake before bed
  • Acidic and spicy foods like tomato sauce or orange juice
  • Use of tobacco

However, it is important to stay hydrated and therefore avoiding fluid intake at all may only worsen things. Drinking sufficient water is a must-go.


Some OAB patients can benefit with pelvic floor exercises that strengthens the bladder. The exercise may be practiced right after urinating so to get hold of the right muscle. Practicing on empty bladder can eliminate the chances of leaks.

Bladder Training

It is the bladder contraction that triggers the urge to pass urine and adds to unnecessary rushing to the loo. Once the bladder is trained, the person only feels the urge when the bladder is entirely full.

Weight Loss

Obesity has a major hand in OAB related symptoms. Obesity leads to unwanted pressure exertion on the urethra and ultimately worsening the symptoms. Putting off weight should be the prime consideration while being treated against OAB.

Medical Treatment

If OAB results from prostate enlargement, the doctors may prescribe alpha blockers. Alpha blockers are used to relax the muscles around the bladder. Following drugs can be used to reduce bladder spasm and urine incontinence:

  • Anti-cholinergics
  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitor
  • Anti-muscarincs

Nerve Stimulation

The procedure is done by placing an electrode under the skin. Mild electrical currents are then passed to the muscles that are involved in urination. Nerve stimulation is effective for people who:

  • Do not get benefited from medications
  • Are to be undergone surgery
  • Are not comfortable with the surgery option.


People who do not respond to nerve stimulation or medication are often treated with surgery. The surgery may target the issues related to bladder, prostate and urethra.


Nitti, V. W., Auerbach, S., Martin, N., Calhoun, A., Lee, M., & Herschorn, S. (2013). Results of a randomized phase III trial of mirabegron in patients with overactive bladder. The Journal of urology, 189(4), 1388-1395.

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