The physiologic changes associated with aging, such as decreased bladder capacity and changes in muscle tone, favor the development of OAB when precipitating factors intervene. In postmenopausal women, many of these changes are related to estrogen deficiency. Estrogen deprivation therapy in younger women with breast cancer has also been associated with increased risk for OAB.
In women, the levator ani muscle function can be evaluated by asking the patient to tighten her vaginal muscles and to hold the contraction as long as possible. Normally, a woman can hold such a contraction for 5-10 seconds. Voluntary levator ani muscle contractions that are very weak or absent are an indication that biofeedback training sessions with a pelvic floor physical therapist may be necessary.
The prevalence of OAB increases with age. However, OAB should not be considered a normal part of aging. Men tend to develop OAB slightly later in life than women do. Symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency are similar between both sexes, but urge incontinence is more prevalent in women than in men.
Learn more about OAB.
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Cite this: Bradley Schwartz. Fast Five Quiz: Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) - Medscape - Jul 20, 2022.