Overactive bladder

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I've had an overactive bladder for years, along with a prolapse bladder. I've tried everything.....meds, biofeedback, etc, etc. Had my urethra stretched a few years ago and this helped for a while. Just had a 12 week PTNS treatment and I was doing pretty well. After the 12 weeks Dr put me on a maintenance program where I go once a month. Well, I do have some good days, but most days I feel like I have to go constantly. It really gets to me. Dr suggested Botox, which I really don't want to do. Watch my diet, no spicy foods, no caffeine, etc etc. Dr doesn't want to do surgery. Has anyone had any success with other things and can offer me any suggestions. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi ann marie.

    I have been going through the same thing (OAB) for 4 months and I cannot imagine living with this years!  All the necessary tests to rule out anything serious were done - and by those I'm healthy.  But what is the use of being healthy if you don't feel healthy.  What affects my mental status most is having to get up at least 6X/night such that I am exhausted in the AM and I can't get up until 11 AM.  I've tried, but I'm exhausted and irritatble the following day.

    Like you, I'm in the middle of going through a 12 week PTNS treatment (tomorrow will be treatment #5).  When I asked them when I might see some improvement, they told me not until #6 or longer.  So, as skeptical as I am, I'm hoping that it works.  What did you mean that you were doing pretty well after you had these treatments?

    They also told me after #12, I would be having 1 month maintenance as you said.  But, it doesn't sound as if it has helped you much.  I don't blame  you for not wanting Botox!  Do they give you a reason for that?  Why botox?  What % of people does it work for and why.  I'm beginning to feel like a guinea pig.

    So, like you, if anyone has any success with other things, PLEASE let us know.  Feel free to ask any questions as well.  Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Dont know how old you are, but Im 80 and have been going through this for 15 years.   I started to see some improvement after the 7th treatment.    I used to have lots of bad days and even had to cancel some of my activities.    Now I have lots of good days and think   Oh, this has worked.   Then I have another bad day.  Seems to come and go.    I also have a pessiary which helps the bladder  prolapse.   When I was having these treatments, met lots of women.    It has helped some and others say it hasnt done a thing  The girl that does this treatment said it has 75% success rate.   There is something else they do called Bulking.   Dont exactly Know what this entails, so ask your Dr. about it.    My Dr said I could try it, but doesnt know if it would work.    One thing it definitely has helped.   Like you, I used to get up 5 or 6 times during the night.   Now I get up once or twice.  Im going to stick with this maintenance program and see what happens.  At my age, dont want to have surgery.   

      I really dont know much about Botox, but what I've read dont this its for me.

      Finish the 12 week program and see what happens.   Some of the women Ive met only saw results after the 7th or 8th treatment.  

      Let me know how you make out.   Sure hope it works for you.    

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    • Posted

      I am 60 and very healthy otherwise in all ways.  This came on suddenly and it interferes with everything I do from day to day.

      Actually about 8 years ago, I had something similar - it lasted for about 3 months - then it just went away.  I started and then stopped an noone knows why.

      So I figured maybe that would happen this time - but it's not going away.  I thought perhaps it might be an age thing, but I see a variety of ages here with the same problem,

      What I don't understand is why by treatment 6 does it maybe start to help or help at all.  I'm very curious about things medically, and want to know why and how, etc.

      I started with 'vesicare' that my Dr. prescribed.  Did not work that much, but my mouth go so dry I could barely talk so I quit that.  The urologist asked me to try Myrbetriq, and got no improvement at all.  He said, I should take it least 2 months before any improvement is seen.  I really didn't want to take yet another medication, but I had to try.  I did, and it didn't make a dent.

      Now I'm on phase 3 with the tens treatment (tomorrow is week 5) which I'm hoping works.  So far, nothing.  Aside from just having to pee so much, I don't leak, or strain to hold it, or anything of that nature.  But, my bladder is feeling 'tired' as well as my general demeanor because I really never get a good night's sleep.  I have actually fallen asleep on the toilet waiting for it to end.

      Also, I only drink 1 glass of ice coffee per day as I have been for years.  I know they say don't drink coffee, but it's part of my routine, perks me up, and it's just one glass.  I do not drink anything else!!! fearing it will make it worse.

      I'm not dehyrdated so I have wonder where is all the water coming from.  I'm also afraid it will lead to something worse.

      I know there are worse things (some things are painful and at least this is not) but it sure interfereres with ones life in a big way.

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    • Posted

      Like you, I tried the same drugs as you, and they made me nauscious. I cannot tolerate many drugs. I also do not leak or ever wet myself, just feel like I always have to go. But, as I said it comes and goes. So I do think these treatments have helped. I never have caffeine and also don't eat anything Spicey. The other night we were at a party and I ate something spicey and did I suffer with frequent urination. I've done a lot of research on this and also gave up drinking wine. Try eliminating certain things and see if it helps. I can't tell you how many parties I've declined because of this problem.

      Also, I take a tranquilizer at night. (A very low dose). The Dr gave it to me as it relaxes me.

      Another thing I have eliminated is anything with tomato sauce. You'd think I'd be skinny with all I've eliminated. I'm not really heavy but not skinny either.

      Good luck to you. Hope the treatments help. Let me know.

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    • Posted

      I replied to you, but it didn't go through. Like you I tried the same drugs as you, but they made me nauscious. I don't leak or ever wet myself, just feel like I always have to go. I have lots of good days and i feel normal so I guess these treatments have helped. I also have eliminated caffeine, wine, spicey foods and anything with tomato sauce. Last week we were at a party and i did have spicey food and boy did I suffer with frequent urination. Try eliminating certain foods and see if this helps.

      With all the things I've eliminated, you'd think I'd be really skinny. Also, my family Dr gave me a very mild tranquilizer which I take at night to relax me.

      Give the treatment some time. Sure hope it works.

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    • Posted

      Hi Trudilu and Ann Marie,

      I was searching for places that do PTNS but can't find anything. Are you guys by any chance in Sydney, Australia or located somewhere else? sad 

      Thank you! smile

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    • Posted

      Have to laugh sinc yesterday had a bladder scan and first she had me empty bladder. During the test I said I have to pee again and she said no you don’t the scan shows ur bladder is empty. Got dressed and right away had to pee!!!?so much for accurate testing!!
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  • Posted

    Sounds like we have a similar problem and a similar reaction to drugs.   When you say it comes and goes, what are you saying, for a day or two or a month, approximately?

    I do have the one cup of iced coffee in the AM and don't plan on giving that up.  I have tried for a week and there was no difference.  As for spicy foods, I have to stay away from them because of a hiatal hernia that will act up if I eat spicy food - which I don't mind at all.   I don't drink alcohol and I can't think of what I can give up!  Sometimes, I go on an ice cream binge as a comfort food for depression (as a result of this,, really).  Tomoto sauce is included in things not to eat.

    I'll keep you posted re the tens treatment.  Please do the same.

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  • Posted


    I had a particularly bad night last night in terms of how many times I had to get up to pee (7X) which exceeded the usual 6 - so I didn't sleep very well.  At yesterday was the 5th week of my PTNS treatment!  I am SO skeptical about there suddenly will be an improvement, if any, by the 6th week and on.

    As a result of last night, as many other nights, I feel so exhausted in the AM.  I tried to wake up at 10 AM but fell back asleep and forced myself to get up at noon.  But, I feel so exhausted and depressed, I don't feel like doing much and the day is almost gone anyway.

    Today I've noticed that sometimes I have to go 15 minutes after going and I don't know why.  I can't explain what I mean when I say my bladder is getting tired, but that's the way if feels.  When I try to go to sleep, I start feeling anxious and tempted to take an anti-anxiety pill to calm me down.  All the tests show nothing serious, yet I feel like I'm dying gradually, and it will lead to something worse.

    I'm irritated and have no energy most of the time, so I don't know how to live with this if I have to.  I wish I had an answer.

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    • Posted

      I just got your message and feel so bad for what you are going through.    Why dont you speak to the Dr. about it and see if theres anything they can do.    Are you going to a gynecologist or a urogynecologist?  A friend who I met at one of these treatmenets called me yesterday.    She gets up every hr during the night, but has no problem at all during the day and, like you, is completely exhausted.   The PTNS did not work for her and now the dr is suggesting Botox, which she doesnt want to do.   He gave her another medicine to take for 2 weeks.

      When things were real bad for me the Dr. gave me an anti-anxiety pill and told me to take it 3 times a day, which I did for a while.  It was a very low dosage.   Now I only take one at night.

      I, too, had a bad day.   Ive been having problems with constipation so took Ducalese which helped but then I had diarrhea.  I was going out so took an imodium and felt fine yesterday.    This morning I decided to take a probiotic and then the frequent urination and pressure started.    Dont know if this was from the probiotic or now.  I had a meeting this morning, but didnt go out to lunch with the group, because of all this bladder pressure.   After supper, I laid down to take the pressure off and now I feel better.

      Have you seen a urologist?   Im sure you have.    Dont give up on these treatments.  I've met so many woman who had success with it.   I think I felt a difference in the 7th week. so your not even half way through.

      So many women have these problems and you can get depressed.   Try to keep busy and put your mind on other things.    Do you work?   Sometimes if I get involved with something, I forget about my problem.

      Hope tomorrow will be a better day for you.   Write to me anytime.


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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for the sympathy!!!

      I've seen my PMP, a urologist, and as you know having #5 PTNS this week.  I have to still hope that it will work for me altho I'm skeptical.  I would not want to take Botox either, but I've heard from one or two that it works.

      I already take anti-anxiety meds (1 at night) and they do what they are supposed to do, but of course don't prevent me from waking up to go to pee.  One time, I took more than I usually do, and I should not do that, but I only woke up 2X during the night so i guess it kept me asleep.  I really don't think it's related to anxiety.

      I retired early from my regular profession; but sometimes when I'm concentrating on something; having to go interrupts my train of thought.  Mostly, it's just so uncomfortable having to to to the bathroom all the time.  I can't imagine living with it so something has to work.

      I have a lot to do, but as I said, I start forcing myself to do what is needed, but I feel so tired...I always needed 8 hours sleep and Im getting about 5 at most.  So, I just can't function normally with this thing.

      I will keep in touch.  Maybe I should see another urologist.  I have to try.

      Thanks Anne.


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    • Posted

      Just wanted to let you know I had an excellent day today. I really think that probiotic had an affect on me. I remember I took it once before and the same thing happened. I have a terrible time with meds. Try eliminating one of your meds, and see if you feel any different.

      Hope you had a better day today. Hang in there.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ann, I cannot eliminate any of the other meds I've been taking for a long time, because they address other problems that really help, ie. aciphex helps coats my stomach and has really helped with my hiatal hernia.  I don't take too many other medications, and those I do I've been taking for years with no ill effects - so I don't think it would help to stop any of the 3 meds that I do take.  They have actually helped me in other areas.

    When you say "probiotics".  Could you tell me in what form (pill, tablets, etc)...that you took that you said may have helped you.  I'm willing to give anything a try.  Please let me know, and I'll out and get it today.  Thanks very much!


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    • Posted

      I think you misunderstood me.   The probiotic I took was in a pill form.    Thought I'd try to take one and the next day I had frequent urination (like every  5 min.)   I didnt take one today and I was fine.   Did you ever hear of D Mannose.   Many doctors recommend this for urinary problems.    Right now Im staying off all those things,   I also have diverticulitis so am very careful what I eat, so I dont get a flare up.

      Give that PTNS a few more weeks, and maybe it will work.    

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    • Posted

      Hi Trudi,    Well, I spoke too soon.   Today was an awful day for me.   Had to go constantly.    I really cant stand this anymore.    Guess I should be thankful for the good days.     Im on the maintenance program for the PTNS, but dont even know if I should continue it.   If you come up with any new solutions, let me know.
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