Your Guide to Overactive Bladder Relief

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5 Benefits of Telehealth for People With Overactive Bladder

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smiling woman waving at laptop in the middle of a video conference call

Telehealth, also called telemedicine, is the use of technology to deliver healthcare. For people with overactive bladder (OAB), a telehealth visit involves meeting with your urologist or gynecologist using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. A telehealth doctor visit looks very similar to an in-person visit. You can discuss your symptoms and concerns, ask questions, and get overactive bladder treatment recommendations. The only difference is the appointment will take place from the comfort and convenience of your home. Why turn to telehealth for your overactive bladder treatment? There are a few good reasons.

1. Telehealth is a convenient way to treat overactive bladder.

One of the main telemedicine benefits is convenience. You save time and money by not having to drive to your doctor’s office and sit in the waiting room. In fact, you can have your appointment wherever is most comfortable for you. All you need is a computer or other device and an Internet connection. Using telehealth for your overactive bladder treatment means you can take less time off from work or school. Parents may not even need to hire a babysitter.

If you live far away from a urologist or gynecologist, telehealth may be the only way for you to access overactive bladder treatment. And research finds that getting care this way could help you stay on your treatment plan. Studies show people in rural areas are more likely to attend remote follow-up visits than in-person visits, likely due to their convenience.

2. It will help you get to know your doctor.

Less than half of people with overactive bladder report the problem to their doctor. One reason is embarrassment. Knowing that you may have to get an exam during your very first visit with a new urologist or gynecologist can contribute to that feeling of embarrassment. One of the many telemedicine benefits is having the opportunity to meet your doctor virtually before your first in-person visit. You’ll have the chance to get to know them before you go into the office for an exam. If after that initial visit you’re not comfortable with the doctor you’ve chosen, you can schedule a telehealth visit with another provider.

3. You’ll avoid germs.

Protecting patients from infection has been one of the most important telehealth benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing a doctor virtually could help you avoid catching an infection in a crowded doctor’s office waiting room. This protection is especially important for people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, including older adults and those with a compromised immune system. Even after the pandemic, it may be a good idea to use telehealth during cold and flu season to keep yourself and your family healthy.

4. More insurance companies are covering telehealth visits.

In recent years, an increasing number of insurance companies has begun to cover the cost of telemedicine. Today Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurers will pay for telemedicine visits for overactive bladder and other urologic conditions. Check with your health insurance provider to find out whether they’ll cover your visit, and if you will have a copay.

5. Virtual contact lets your doctor monitor your progress.

Telehealth involves more than just remote visits with your doctor. In between those visits, your doctor can keep up with your progress through emails, texts, or virtual monitoring. Having these regular points of contact with your doctor will help to ensure that your overactive bladder treatment continues to work for you. If it isn’t helping, your doctor will know about it sooner than your next scheduled appointment, so you can switch to a different treatment approach.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 May 3
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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  2. Schlittenhardt M, Clouse Smith S, Ward-Smith P. Tele-Continence Care: A Novel Approach for Providers. Urologic Nursing. 2016;36(5):217-223.
  3. Grimes CL, Balk EM, Crisp CC, et al. A Guide for Urogynecologic Patient Care Utilizing Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Review of Existing Evidence. International Urogynecology Journal. 2020:1-27.
  4. Telehealth: What You Should Know. Urology Care Foundation.