Injections for an overactive bladder

Minimally invasive treatment for urgency and incontinence

Injections of muscle relaxant into the bladder can help to alleviate the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome

About managing an overactive bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is characterised by the frequent, sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate. This urgency is caused by the muscles of your bladder wall suddenly contracting. Injections of muscle relaxant work by relaxing these muscles to relieve the symptoms of OAB.

Need to know

  • What happens during the injection procedure? icon plus

    Injections for OAB can be done using anaesthetic gel (to block pain in the area) or under general anaesthetic. Your consultant will recommend the best option for you. A thin flexible telescope (cystoscope) will gently be inserted through your urethra and into your bladder. Your consultant will pump water through the cystoscope to expand your bladder before using a small needle to deliver up to 20 injections in your bladder wall. Once the cystoscope is removed, you'll be able to empty your bladder. The entire procedure only takes around 10 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. They'll let you know if there is anything specific you'll need to do to prepare, including avoiding certain medications. If you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll also let you know long to avoid eating and drinking beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After your injections icon plus

    You should be able to go home shortly after your appointment, once you've emptied your bladder. Some people have difficulty fully emptying their bladder after having these injections, but this is usually a temporary problem. Your consultant will let you know what to expect and when you can get back to your normal routine, including work.

    The effects of these injections usually last between nine to 12 months. Your consultant will let you know when you should return for a follow-up appointment to have the procedure repeated.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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