Olivia shares what living with overactive bladder is like and some of her favorite tips and tricks on how to make OAB a little bit easier for everyday life.
Overactive bladder is composed of urgency, urge incontinence, frequency, and nocturia. Those are the four components of overactive bladder. You don't have to have them all, but you can have at least one or two of them to have an overactive bladder.
Here I am today sitting in front of you as a 25-year-old woman who's struggled with this her entire life. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just something that we as individuals have to live with.
There are different ways to cope with it. Let's learn about it now.
Protection and Comfortability Go Hand-in-Hand
At any age, I urge you to find a way to be the most comfortably protected when you're going out and about through your day.
This can mean wearing pads, adult diapers or panty liners. It's in your own hands on how you choose to deal with the day-to-day aspects of leaking that tends to be a very common symptom of overactive bladder.
Find a Product That Suits Your Needs
Everyone is different, so there are a ton of different brands and products out there for people like myself who deal with overactive bladder. Find a product that suits you the best.
Personally, I prefer pads without wings. You can buy period pads or you can purchase incontinence pads. I think the ones without wings suit me the best because then I can wear them every single day and not get some rash between my, or irritation rash between my legs.
Start an OAB Journal
Most doctors tend to recommend starting an OAB journal because it can be as easy as saying what you go through on a daily basis in generalizing an appointment.
As soon as you break it down together, can find inconsistencies in voiding habits and stuff like that that might attribute to having an overactive bladder that you can better treat together.
You may have to do them over and over again throughout your journey with struggling with an overactive bladder if you do decide to go to different doctors and tests and stuff.
However, it is just kind of a good way to remind yourself that these are not things that you are doing to yourself, this is just the way your body works, and there's a lot of people like you out there.
Create a Bladder Routine
Start getting your body or your bladder into a routine of using the washroom every half hour for about a week. Many studies show that regulating your bladder voiding into habitual voiding can be very useful and beneficial to you in the end.
Having some control over your bladder is a really good feeling, so when you are the one controlling the bathroom visits versus the other way around. It can be a lot more freeing and when you break it into those little half-hour breaks or however long you want to do the bathroom visits.
It is a valuable thing to have in your pocket, and as a tool, that you know you can do, as opposed to being the other way around.
Get to Know Your Triggers
Getting to know your body is very important. There are a lot of food and drinks out there that can, unfortunately, negatively affect the way our bladder works, regardless of having an overactive bladder.
Caffeine and alcohol are two different beverages that affect most of the population in one way or there other because they are diuretics.
Planning the way your evening or morning will go is going to benefit you as well.
If you're driving into work and you have an hour long drive ahead of you, and you decide to drink a cup of coffee before you go, you may always find that you can't wait to get to the washroom by the time you get to work.
It may even be too late at that point. That might just be a habit you're not used to even noticing. By noticing when you are doing those things and then try and change it if you need to, in the best way possible.
You Are Not Alone
Knowing you are not alone is a considerable way to empower yourself.
There are so many other people out there who have OAB. I'm sure that the statistics are skewed because not as many people talk about it, but the more we talk about it, the more you'll know about it, and the more others can know about it. It's a win-win for everyone.
However, it is something that's going to take practice and educating yourself as well as others that it's not something you need to be embarrassed by.
Talk About It
Let others know that you need help. In any case of overactive bladder or bedwetting, it is very important to see a doctor because it can be a cause of another health concern that may be hidden, and showing itself in symptoms of overactive bladder or bedwetting.