Menu Close

Can Overactive Bladder Be Treated With Botox Injections?

Overactive bladder, OAB is a common neurological condition amongst a good number of adult populations. Study findings show that approximately 17% of females and about 11% of the male adult population will suffer from an overactive bladder at some instance of their lifetimes.

It is characterized by an overwhelming and uncontrollable need to urinate, frequent urination and in some instances, urinary incontinence. Overactive bladder can leave you with physical, psychological and mental torture from the discomfort that arises from the overwhelming and uncontrollable need to relieve yourself. 

Since a washroom may not always be within your reach when pressed, patients of OAB may experience some bits of urine leaks, something that causes them embarrassment. Such embarrassments take a heavy toll on the psychological and mental state of OAB patients.

Botox Injection for your overactive bladder

In their bid to treat OAB, patients may be put under anticholinergic drugs, and behavioral and physical changes. When these fail, a better alternative exists, Botox injections. This article gives details on how Botox injections treat OAB. 

Candidate Suitability

Botox injections have been around for the last 20 years but the FDA approved them for treating overactive bladder in 2013. They come in handy where other methods of treating overactive bladder have not proven effective or successful. You are a candidate for Botox injections if; you urinate frequently, usually more than 8 times a day, visit the washroom twice or more at night, experience an overwhelming need to urinate, or suffer from urinary incontinence.

How Botox Treats AOB

Mechanism of Action

The condition comes about when the CNS produces lots of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine that leads to the involuntary contraction of pelvic muscles. Botox injections help in blocking the release of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, thereby reducing the contraction of bladder muscles. The ripple effect of this is the alleviation of the feeling of urgency to urinate, frequency and incontinence patterns associated with the condition.  


It takes place in a physician’s office bed. The physician inserts a tube known as a cystoscope, which carries with it a camera and a very thin needle, through the urethra to deliver the injection. All this while, the patient is under anesthesia or light sedation and a catheter to help them relieve themselves. The procedure takes a maximum of 30 minutes, after which you can be up and about your business. 

Effectiveness and Duration

Relief of Symptoms

The effects of Botox injections start to bear fruit two weeks after the procedure. The reduction of incontinence episodes and frequency of urination have been reported amongst AOB patients, two weeks after the procedure.

Duration of Effect

The effects of Botox injections are not permanent. Generally, they last about 4-6 months, after which a repeat treatment will be required to address the symptoms. Medical experts advise that medical opinion should be sought after, before seeking a repeat Botox injection in treating AOB. 

Potential Side Effects

Urinary Retention

Even though a catheter is inserted into the bladder to empty the urine during the procedure, you may never get rid of all the urine. The remaining urine in the bladder brings about the constant urge to urinate, thereby making this the main side effect associated with Botox injections. It will take a while to get rid of all the urine so this should not be a concern. 


Another serious side effect of the injections is the risk of contracting UTIs, which are more prevalent in female patients. With UTIs to heal, you may be left with additional medications that also come with their fair share of side effects. 

Other Side Effects

Though not common, some Botox injection candidates may sometimes experience mild to medium pains in the injection site, blood in the urine and general discomfort. 

Benefits of Botox Injections

The elimination of the sudden urge to urinate, reduced frequency and incontinence episodes, all point to one major benefit, improvement of quality living. This comes about since you do not have to keep rushing to the washroom during the daytime and nighttime. As a result, you experience a calm daytime routine and quality nighttime sleep, both of which are critical to a happier life. 

Overall, the few side effects associated with Botox injections do not compare to the many benefits that accrue from the treatment. It is a better alternative where other forms of treatment like pelvic muscle exercise and anticholinergic drugs have failed to provide effective and sustainable results. To reduce possible side effects, you should consult with your primary healthcare provider before going for the jab. Even after the first injection, be sure to consult with your physician before taking a repeat treatment. 

Related Posts