Are you experiencing a sudden urge to urinate more often than usual? Do you find yourself unable to make it to the restroom in time? Or are you experiencing side effects from certain medications that impact your bladder? If so, you might be wondering if Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder may be the right solution for you.
What is Overactive Bladder?
An Overactive Bladder (OAB) can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sex, or race. It is a chronic incontinence condition that affects the communication between nerve signals and bladder muscles. The bladder muscles contract uncontrollably, resulting in the involuntary leakage of urine. These uncontrollable spasms of the bladder create a strong and sudden urge to urinate and are often accompanied by frequent urination throughout the day and night.
What is Botox?
Botox, formally termed onabotulinumtoxinA, is a drug that is classified as a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins disrupt the nervous system and how it functions. These types of drugs specifically are toxins that destroy nerve tissue. Since the nerves cannot transmit signals to the muscles when Botox is injected, the muscles become extremely relaxed or paralyzed.
How Can Botox Treat Overactive Bladder?
Have you experienced severe side effects from OAB medications or did not find relief using those medications? Before discussing Botox as a treatment for your OAB, start thinking about how OAB may be affecting your life.
- Is OAB limiting your daily activities because you frequently need to find and use restrooms?
- Are you limiting your intake of fluids?
- Do you feel embarrassed that others are noticing your symptoms?
- Are you experiencing frustration because OAB impacts your daily decisions like what you wear, where you go and affects your self-confidence?
If OAB is compromising your overall quality of life, Botox for Overactive Bladder may help.
In your body, certain chemicals travel from nerve cells to bladder muscle cells so they can contract and you can urinate. With OAB, these muscles uncontrollably contract and cause a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, causing involuntary leakage or the need to urinate many times throughout the day.
Botox can help patients with OAB reduce their leakage episodes by 50%-75%. It works by stopping the nerve signals to the bladder muscles that trigger OAB. The entire procedure is outpatient and typically done in a physician’s office. Your doctor will fill your bladder with a numbing agent. Once the bladder is numb, a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra, and Botox is injected into multiple strategic points of the bladder muscle. The entire prep, procedure, and monitoring should take approximately one hour.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Botox Treatments for Overactive Bladder?
- It may sting or burn when you urinate the first few times after treatment.
- You may notice a small amount of blood in your urine.
- You might experience an inability to empty your bladder fully.
- You might get a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If any of these symptoms persist longer than a week, you should contact your doctor. If you continue to have trouble fully emptying your bladder, your doctor may prescribe the temporary use of an intermittent catheter such as the Infyna Chic Hydrophilic Female Catheter or the SpeediCath Compact Sets for Women or Men. Since Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder has had much success, using a catheter has been a rare side effect.
How Long Does Botox Treatment for Overactive Bladder Last?
Each person will respond differently to Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder. The Botox injections can help manage OAB with as few as two treatments per calendar year. After the first treatment, you should experience fewer and fewer leakage episodes as the weeks move on. In clinical trials, Botox relieved OAB symptoms for up to six months.
It may be helpful to keep a bladder diary to track your urination pattern and how you felt before and after Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder. When you meet with your doctor to discuss the results of your treatment, bring this bladder diary with you. Your doctor will use this as a tool to determine if you may need an additional Botox treatment sooner than every six months.
Download our useful Bladder Diary now.
Is Botox as a Treatment for OAB Covered by Medicare?
The good news is Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare. You may have no out-of-pocket expense; however, the cost of Botox is different for everyone depending on your specific insurance company.
To see if you are eligible and to find out how much Botox treatment for Overactive Bladder will cost you, visit this handy calculator now.