Simple procedure could help women with overactive bladder

Judy Braim is getting treatment for something that millions of Americans suffer with every day: an overactive bladder. She says she was feeling the urge to go every hour.

That had been Judy Braim's normal for some 16 years until 12 weeks ago, after she was referred for treatment at the Pelvic Health Center at Albany Memorial Hospital.

"I would say that I visit the bathroom every 3 to 4 hours. I can sleep through the night and it's just made everything a lot more tolerable," Judy says.

Judy worked with a biofeedback unit zeroing in on a muscle exercise, kegels, to improve bladder control.

"So there's a little sensor like tampon that can be put into the vagina, stimulating how to use the muscles and how to build them up on their own," Urologist Dr. Brian Murray says.

The electric stimulation also helps re-set your bladder sensor that's telling you to go to the bathroom too often.

"So by doing the therapy you're resetting it so that they hold a more normal volume before the brain gets the signal to have to go to the bathroom,â?? Dr. Murray says. â??And it puts them back much like people get shocked back into a rhythm with their heart, putting their bladder back into rhythm."

About 50 % of patients get success. That's at least as good as medication, says Dr. Murray, but as he points out this treatment has no side effects and if need be, patients can repeat the treatment.

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