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New Survey Reveals Surprising Information About Bladder Health and Intimacy

6/4/01 (Rochester, NY) PRNewswire: Thirty-seven percent of sexually active adults polled in a new nationwide survey of people with bladder control problems report that their sex lives are directly affected by their condition.

The Harris Interactive poll was conducted with adults who reported at least one symptom associated with a medical condition known as overactive bladder (OAB), such as frequent urination, sudden overwhelming urges to urinate, or occasional involuntary loss of urine. Of the 55 percent of respondents who reported being sexually active, two-thirds (67 percent) said that their overactive bladder symptoms have affected their sex life to some extent.

"We know from years of patient discussions that overactive bladder can be a significant intrusion in the bedroom," said Donnica Moore, MD, president of DrDonnica.com, a women's health information website. "Too many people, particularly women, don't recognize the symptoms of overactive bladder, or realize that prescription medications were developed specifically to address this condition."

Nearly half of the survey respondents not currently involved in a relationship identified bladder problems as a reason why. Of the 45 percent of respondents who indicated that they are not sexually active, more than one-third cited their overactive bladder symptoms as a contributing factor.

This Harris Interactive study was supported by Pharmacia Corporation. The survey was conducted on the Overactive Bladder Clinic on CVS.com during February and March 2001, and with respondents drawn from the Harris Interactive Online Panel. The survey polled more than 300 women and men ages 18 and older who suffered from at least one symptom associated with overactive bladder.

"We have seen a wide variety of issues addressed in intimacy-related research over the years. Finding a solution to sexually related problems can often be difficult and complex. It is important for people to know that many of the symptoms related to overactive bladder can be treated and alleviated by seeing a physician," commented Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll.

Some survey respondents confessed that their partner discovered their condition because he/she had a wetting accident during sex. Many also said that they limit their activities or take steps to minimize the chance of having an accident while being intimate.

"Being sexually intimate with a loved one is often a very special part of an adult relationship. Symptoms of overactive bladder can affect both partners' desire to be intimate, yet it's a condition that people can usually resolve simply by discussing it openly with their doctor. Thank goodness there is help for people with this kind of common health problem, because an overactive bladder can affect a sexual relationship," said Karen Brash McGreer, RN and New Jersey-based marital and sex therapist.

About Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a disruptive, chronic medical condition that affects 17 million people in the U.S., including nearly one in every five adults over the age of 40. It is marked by symptoms of urinary frequency (urinating more than eight times in a 24-hour period, including two or more times a night), urgency (strong and sudden desire to urinate), and urge incontinence (accidental loss of urine caused by a sudden and unstoppable urge to urinate). Many people with overactive bladder mistakenly believe that the condition is an unavoidable part of aging that they must learn to live with. As a result, many patients suffer in silence without seeking help.

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