There are many misconceptions about overactive bladder (OAB). It is not an inevitable consequence of aging that you have to learn to tolerate. There are many treatment options available to ease symptoms and improve the quality of life. OAB is not a disease. It is a series of symptoms including urination frequency and urgency, a persistent feeling that you have to urinate, incontinence or loss of bladder control, and urinating more than two times during the night.
Overactive bladder is an extremely common condition that affects about 33 million Americans. Of these, about 12 million have urge incontinence, or the sudden, urgent need to urinate.
Overactive bladder occurs when your bladder muscles contract involuntarily. You may suddenly have the urge to urinate even if you don't have a full bladder. Or you may not realize you have to urinate until the need is so urgent that you leak urine before you can get to a bathroom.
Some of the causes include drinking a lot of fluid, neurological disorders, diabetes, bladder obstruction, enlarged prostate, and urinary tract infections.
There are many different types of treatments available. Lifestyle or behavioral changes are often the first line of defense and include making changes to your diet, monitoring your fluid intake, pelvic floor exercises and bladder training.
There are also a number of over-the -counter and prescription medications available, as well as injection therapy and sacral nerve stimulation. Surgery is rarely suggested for overactive bladder.