Overactive Bladder (OAB) has long been a problem for me. I’ve had gradually increasing symptoms since the birth of my second daughter 20 years ago.
The sudden urge to go can strike at any time, but I’ve learned ways to manage it – I know my triggers (doing the dishes!) and have learned the hard way that I just need to carry around an extra change of clothes. But still, my bladder leaks have always bothered me.
For years, my various doctors dismissed these symptoms as nothing to worry about. “It happens to many women your age”, or “This type of thing happens as you get older”. This type of response was always really frustrating to me, but I trusted my doctor and felt that they knew best so never really pressed the issue.
I was prescribed medication once, but never really liked the side effects and at the time didn’t know about any alternatives.
I finally decided it was time to take matters into my own hands when I nearly missed my daughter getting her diploma at her high school graduation because I was in the bathroom. I got to work doing my own research on treatment options for OAB – turns out there are a lot! I spoke frankly with my doctor about my wishes, and got a referral to a urogynecologist, who set me up with a simple procedure that I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
Now, I rarely experience symptoms and I can’t believe I accepted this condition as normal for so long.
Ladies – take your health into your own hands! Demand treatment from your doctor and express your concerns. You know your body better than anyone else - be your own best advocate! OAB is NOT normal! Do something about it and change your life for the better!
Molly R., Montclair, NJ