Home Medizin Die emotionalen Auswirkungen von OAB

Die emotionalen Auswirkungen von OAB

von NFI Redaktion

The physical effects of an overactive bladder are obvious. However, not much is discussed about the emotional impact. You may avoid going out with friends, exercising, or visiting your grandchildren out of fear of leakage or frequent bathroom trips.

„People start living their lives around controlling their bladder,“ says Aqsa Khan, MD, a urologist at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ.

Even at home, OAB can make the simplest social interactions stressful. Khan shares a story of a 50-year-old woman who accidentally started peeing while talking to her neighbor in the garden, and to hide it, turned the garden hose on herself.

The loss of control, says Khan, can have devastating consequences, making one feel infantilized and resorting to wearing diapers.

OAB can also affect intimacy, leading to avoidance of sexual activities due to fear of leakage, potentially causing relationship issues. It is important to communicate openly with your partner and seek support.

Intimacy issues are challenging for couples who have been together for years, and can be overwhelming while dating. „[OAB] can be a huge elephant in the room when building these intimate relationships,“ says A. Lenore Ackerman, MD, PhD.

You may wake up four times a night, but fall back asleep immediately, while others only wake up twice but struggle to fall back asleep each time. This lack of rest can impact your overall well-being, potentially leading to other problems, including cognitive issues.

There is a strong link between OAB and depression, with poor sleep being a key factor. „‚Sleep is central to everything,“ says Ackerman.

The fear of OAB can worsen physical symptoms. People with OAB often unknowingly tense their pelvic floor muscles, causing fatigue and potential loss of control when needed the most.

You may think that urinary issues are a normal part of aging, but OAB can bring additional shame and self-blame, especially at a younger age.

Shame can be a barrier to seeking help, but OAB is more common than you may think. „Talk to your friends,“ suggests Ackerman. „Chances are, some of them may have it too.“

By opening up about OAB, you may feel more comfortable seeking long-term treatments rather than just managing symptoms with products. Ackerman emphasizes the importance of seeking professional help.

„You don’t have to deal with it alone,“ says Ackerman. „Many of us go through it, there is treatment, and we want you to get treated.“

„Physicians choose this profession because they want to help patients,“ says Sevann Helo, MD, a urologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. „We can’t improve something we don’t know is a problem.“

If your doctor is unaware of how to treat OAB, they should refer you to someone who can. With help, you can regain control over your bladder at any age.

„Your bladder can be retrained at any time in your life,“ says Asence. „The key is to be persistent and take care of yourself.“

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