Marlboro Woman Finally Gets Relief After Overactive Bladder Treatment
October 07, 2022
Several years ago, Susan (Sue) Vogel, 76, of Marlboro, New Jersey, said her life revolved around finding a bathroom — whether on an airplane, out dining or shopping, or when running on the boardwalk at the shore.
Although she didn’t realize it at the time, Sue was experiencing symptoms of overactive bladder, a common, progressive condition that causes a strong, often sudden urge to urinate, and also a frequent need to urinate.
“Wherever I was, I had to look for a restroom,” Sue says. “It got to the point where I never wanted to go anywhere.”
Options for Conservative Treatment
After suffering with life-altering symptoms of overactive bladder for about a year, Sue spoke to her gynecologist about her condition. Sue’s gynecologist referred her to Nina P. Bhatia, M.D., a urogynecologist at Bayshore Medical Center who specializes in treating pelvic floor conditions in women.
“Overactive bladder is a common condition. It can start at any age and tends to get worse over time,” says Dr. Bhatia. “Although it is more common in women, it can also affect men.”
After confirming Sue’s diagnosis, Dr. Bhatia recommended starting with a conservative treatment plan to manage Sue’s symptoms. First, Dr. Bhatia suggested a trial of medication for overactive bladder, as well as pelvic floor physical therapy, which can help to improve bladder control.
“In women with overactive bladder, the bladder muscles are overactive and squeeze too often, giving you the feeling of needing to urinate quickly and quite frequently, even though your bladder isn’t really full,” says Dr. Bhatia. “When we treat overactive bladder, we target either the muscles or the nerves that control these muscles. In Sue’s case, pelvic floor physical therapy and medication both targeted the overactive bladder muscles that were causing her symptoms.”
Getting Her Life Back with Bladder Botox
Unfortunately, Sue’s initial conservative treatments didn’t provide the results she needed.
Unwilling to give up, she asked Dr. Bhatia if anything else could be done — and Dr. Bhatia recommended bladder Botox, an FDA-approved treatment for overactive bladder that has not responded to more conservative treatments.
“Botox is a medication that is injected into the bladder muscles that are causing these symptoms. Botox has been used to treat overactive bladder for close to a decade. The procedure is done during a short office visit, with no recovery or downtime after the procedure,” says Dr. Bhatia. “Botox provides significant symptom relief for most patients and the effects last for about six months.”
“I tried bladder Botox, and it gave me my life back,” Sue says. “After my first treatment, I am back to normal.”
Encouraging Others to Start the Conversation
Now, Sue says she can be the wife, mother and grandmother she wants to be without the need to constantly search for a restroom or manage bothersome urges to urinate. She goes to the gym, hiking and running on the Boardwalk with confidence — even in the winter, when public restrooms aren’t open.
To provide ongoing symptom control, Sue will return to Dr. Bhatia for repeat bladder Botox treatments every six months.
Sue and Dr. Bhatia agree that the first step to overcoming overactive bladder is starting the conversation with your physician.
“Many women assume overactive bladder symptoms are a normal part of life after childbirth, menopause or reaching a certain age,” says Dr. Bhatia. “The truth is that although these symptoms are common, they are not necessarily normal. It’s important to speak up because effective treatments are available.”
“So many people suffer with this condition, and if I can help just one person, sharing my story is worth it,” says Sue.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our experts: To make an appointment with Nina P. Bhatia, M.D., or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
- Learn about urogynecology at Hackensack Meridian Health.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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