Overactive Bladder Specialist

Midwest Urogynecology

John P. Judd, MD

Gynecologist & Urogynecologist located in St. Louis, MO

An overactive bladder can cause a variety of bothersome symptoms. If an urgent need to urinate interferes with your daily life or your ability to sleep peacefully through the night, John P. Judd, MD, of Midwest Urogynecology in St. Louis can help. To start the path to relief, call or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.

Overactive Bladder Q & A

What is overactive bladder?

When you have overactive bladder, also known as OAB,, sudden, involuntary contractions in your bladder’s muscle wall create a sensation of urgency to urinate, which may lead to urine loss which you are unable to prevent from occurring. Sometimes these urges are predictable, while at other times they can occur without warning.

What are the symptoms of overactive bladder?

The type and severity of overactive bladder symptoms vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:

  • An inability to stop urination
  • Bladder leakage
  • Disrupted sleep due to frequent restroom use defined as having to void twice or more per night
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Urinating eight or more times per 24 hours

These symptoms can lead to complications such as anxiety, depression, embarrassment, emotional distress, and discomfort around sexual intimacy.

What causes overactive bladder?

The involuntary muscle contractions of overactive bladder aren’t a condition itself, but symptoms of other issues, such as:

  • Acute urinary tract infection
  • Constipation that blocks bladder outflow
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate that blocks bladder outflow
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis
  • Walking difficulties

Most anyone can develop overactive bladder, but it’s more likely as you age and with cognitive decline due to conditions such as stroke or Alzheimer’s disease.

How is overactive bladder treated?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of overactive bladder, see Dr. Judd. After an exam that may include discussion of your medical history, a physical exam of your abdomen and genitals, a urine sample test, a neurological exam, and potentially specialized tests that measure bladder output and pressure, he can recommend your next best steps. In addition to addressing any underlying condition, he may suggest:

  • Absorbent pads
  • Bladder training
  • Botox® injections in the bladder muscles
  • Healthy weight control
  • Intermittent catheterization
  • Medications that relax the bladder
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises
  • Scheduled toilet trips
  • Surgery

When is surgery needed for overactive bladder?

If other treatments fail to improve overactive bladder and your symptoms are severe, Dr. Judd may recommend surgery. Possible surgical interventions include:

  • Bladder removal and use of a replacement bladder, which is typically a last resort
  • Surgery to increase the capacity of your bladder, in which pieces of your bowel replace part of your bladder