COIMBATORE: A school teacher by profession, Sumathi (name changed) began using the wash room to urinate at anywhere between 10 and 14 times in a day. On multiple occasions, the school teacher had to excuse herself, rush out of the classroom to answer natures call and get back to teaching.
“On some occasions, I would not make it in time.” she says adding that after a while, it became too much that she decided to see a doctor where she was diagnosed with over active bladder syndrome.
Once considered a medical condition of the elderly population, ‘over active bladder (OAB)’ is becoming common among the younger generation and women are MORE prone to it; however, men are not spared of the condition. Explaining why OAB is common among women, Dr K. S. Vengetesh, urologist at GKNM Hospital, Coimbatore said “this condition is more common among women since the woman’s bladder muscles are affected in pregnancy and child birth besides women have a short urethra.”
One in six adults are affected by the condition in the textile city, experts say and add that Its incidence increases with age. The patient suffering from the condition complains of leakage of urine while laughing, coughing, sneezing and other things that put pressure on the bladder.
In a bid to spread awareness about impact that urinary incontinence can have on our life and encourages those living with it to seek help so they no longer have to suffer in silence, annually, World Continence Week (WCW) is observed between June 17 and 23. Ahead of WCW, experts from the textile city share that awareness about OAB is critical when it comes to reducing the stigma associated with bladder health.
“Patients should not suffer silently. It is a treatable condition. At present there are numerous ways to treat it which includes lifestyle changes, diet, medication and surgery if required. Behavioral interventions such as kegel exercises often help manage an overactive bladder and control urine leakage,” Dr. Vengetesh said.