I am being compensated by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. for this post; however, the opinions expressed here are my own.

For years women have been told they can and should do it all. It seems like every day there is new advice telling women how they should handle their career, kids, parents, home and lastly (so often a distant last) health. As women we've been told how to juggle, balance, prioritize, on-ramp, off-ramp and most recently “lean in.” I have days and even weeks where I wonder how everything will get done. While I don't have all the answers, I do know my health can't come a distant last. For our own sakes and for the sake of everything else we want and need to get done, taking care of ourselves needs to rank among our priorities. I was terribly sad to learn that when it comes to overactive bladder (OAB), only about 1 in 8 women who experience symptoms seek treatment.1

If you are dealing with OAB, you should know you aren't alone. Approximately 46 million American adults age 40 and older experience overactive bladder symptoms at least sometimes.2 It's possible you are suffering from OAB and don't know there is a name for the symptoms you are experiencing. One of the symptoms of OAB is frequency, which is simply the need to urinate often — usually 8 or more times a day.3 Another symptom is urgency; you may not be able to wait to go.3 Leakage may also occur accidentally. Leakage is urinating after a sudden, uncontrollable urge.3 For people with overactive bladder, your brain tells your bladder it’s time to pee before it’s full. OAB can also happen when your bladder muscle is too active. Either way, your bladder muscle contracts too early, causing the bladder to empty before it should. 4

Women contend with a lot. Whether you are burning the midnight oil trying to accelerate your career, juggling your responsibilities as a mom, or trying to be a good daughter tending to your aging parents. Your health should be a priority too. In a recent “Peehavior” survey of 2,854 women conducted by Astellas, 86 percent of women surveyed had peed somewhere other than a bathroom. Nineteen percent reported the most unusual place they had peed was behind the bushes. And almost half of women surveyed had used the men’s bathroom because the line for the women’s bathroom was too long.5

Many people with overactive bladder plan their daily activities around their frequent need to urinate.6 It shouldn't have to be that way. As experts at juggling responsibilities, we shouldn't have to juggle something that might be treatable. OAB is a diagnosable medical condition for which treatments are available.3 If you are experiencing some of the symptoms noted above you should consider talking about them with your doctor. A healthcare professional may offer treatment options if you have some or all of these symptoms. Why complicate an already complicated schedule if you might be able to get some help?

References:

  1. Milsom I, Kaplan SA, Coyne KS, Sexton CC, Kopp ZS. Effect of bothersome overactive bladder symptoms on health-related quality of life, anxiety, depression, and treatment seeking in the United States: results from EpiLUTS. Urology 2012;80(1):90-6.
  2. Coyne KS, Sexton CC, Vats V, Thompson C, Kopp ZS, Milsom I. National community prevalence of overactive bladder in the United States stratified by sex and age. Urology 2011;77(5):1081
  3. Gormley EA, Lightner DJ, Burgio KL, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder (non-neurogenic) in adults: AUA/SUFU guideline. American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. 2014.
  4. Sadananda P, Drake MJ, Paton JFR, Pickering AE. A functional analysis of the influence of b3-adrenoceptors on the rat micturition cycle. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2013;347(2):506-15.
  5. Astellas and Ipsos Public Affairs. Data on File.
  6. Filipetto FA., Fulda KG, Holthusen AE, McKeithen TM, McFadden P. The patient perspective on overactive bladder: a mixed-methods needs assessment. BMC Family Practice 2014;15:96-101.

I am being compensated by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. for this post; however, the opinions expressed here are my own.