I am being compensated by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. for this post; however, the opinions expressed here are my own.
When our kids do the pee‐pee dance, they do a jig from foot to foot and jump up and down. It’s cute. After I had kids, I developed overactive bladder (OAB).
Then I began to do my own pee‐pee dance. Not as cute. I have both urgency and frequency with my OAB. This means having to run to the bathroom around eight times or more a day.1 When you have OAB, you may have to readjust your life.
I couldn’t do activities I enjoyed like playing soccer with the kids, traveling, running or going to the gym. I had to map out where bathrooms were wherever I went. If we took a road trip, it added at least an hour to the trip for all the bathroom stops we made.
We women juggle so much, don’t we? I work, take care of the kids, run a household and act as the family chauffeur. How many things do you have on your plate? I love to help others, but seeking help for me? Not so much! When it came to my OAB, it took years before I sought treatment from my doctor. I recently found out only about 1 in 8 women who experience symptoms seek treatment.2
With my OAB, I kept my symptoms to myself. I never talked to my doctor about it. Eventually, I decided it was less shameful to approach my doctor than to have leakage on a daily basis. I am excited to talk about Stop Stalling®, a campaign that helps women recognize the symptoms of OAB and encourages them to talk with their healthcare provider.
Here are some surprising statistics from Stop Stalling’s “Peehavior” survey of 2,854 women that shows how women view and deal with instances when they need to find a bathroom:
- Almost half of women surveyed had used the men’s bathroom because the line for the women’s bathroom was too long.3 I did this recently when I traveled with my sister! I couldn’t wait for that long line.
- 86 percent of women surveyed had peed somewhere other than a bathroom. 19% reported the most unusual place they had peed was behind the bushes.3 I have done this too. I am not going to share where I peed.
Many Americans like myself live with symptoms of OAB. In fact, about 46 million Americans over 40 experience OAB symptoms at least sometimes.4 This includes peeing too often and feeling the urgent need to go.1 In 24 hours, I could go to the bathroom as many as 15 times! I hadn’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in years. If we took a road trip, I had to wear a pad because I could leak if we didn’t find a bathroom in time or I laughed at the kids’ jokes too hard. If you have OAB, your brain sends early signals to the bladder, causing it to contract before it’s full.5
Have you had to plan your daily activities around your frequent need to pee? I have! You can forget hiking or standing in line at the amusement park, right?! What a relief to know my life doesn’t have to revolve around the symptoms of OAB. This is a diagnosable medical condition for which treatments are available.1 My doctor was able to examine me, assess my situation and offer a treatment plan. Now I have my life back! Are you ready to reclaim yours?
- 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.
- 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.
- Astellas and Ipsos Public Affairs. Data on File.
- 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):1081-7.
- Sadananda P, Drake MJ, Paton JFR, Pickering AE. A functional analysis of the influence of β3-adrenoceptors on the rat micturition cycle. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2013;347(2):506-15.