Overactive Bladder


What is An Overactive Bladder?

An Overactive Bladder occurs when the bladder and brain have miscommunications, and the brain is sending a signal to the bladder too frequently. This usually results in uncontrollable, frequent, and sudden urges to go to the bathroom. This condition can also be closely related to Urge Incontinence.

Symptoms of oab

With an overactive bladder, you may:

  • Feel a sudden urge to urinate that's difficult to control

  • Experience urge incontinence — the involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate

  • Urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours

  • Awaken two or more times in the night to urinate (nocturia)

Although you may be able to get to the toilet in time when you sense an urge to urinate, unexpected frequent urination and nighttime urination can disrupt your life, as well as presenting health risks.

When to see a doctor

Although it's not uncommon among older adults, overactive bladder isn't a normal part of aging. If your symptoms distress you or disrupt your life, talk to your doctor. Treatments are available that might help you.

Risk Factors for OAB

  • Neurologic disorders or damage to the signals between your brain and bladder

  • Hormone changes

  • Pelvic muscle weakness or spasms

  • A urinary tract infection

  • Side effects from a medication

  • Diseases that affect the brain or spinal cord, like stroke and multiple sclerosis

If you think you have OAB, talk with your health care provider. It’s important to learn why it’s happening so you can manage your symptoms.

What Causes OAB?

Overactive bladder occurs because the muscles of the bladder start to contract involuntarily even when the volume of urine in your bladder is low. This involuntary contraction creates the urgent need to urinate.

Treatments for OAB

There are a number of things you can do to manage OAB. Everyone has a different experience with what works best. You may try one treatment alone, or several at the same time.

You and your health care provider should talk about what you want from treatment and about each option. OAB treatments include: