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Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder squeezes urine out at the wrong time. You may have overactive bladder if you have two or more of these symptoms:

  • You urinate eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
  • You have the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
  • You leak urine after a sudden, strong urge to urinate

You also may have incontinence, a loss of bladder control. Nerve problems, too much fluid, or too much caffeine can cause it. Often the cause is unknown.

Your doctor may prescribe a medicine that can calm muscles and nerves. The medicine may come as a pill, a liquid, or a patch. The medicines can cause your eyes to become dry. They can also cause dry mouth and constipation. To deal with these effects, use eye drops to keep your eyes moist, chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy if dry mouth bothers you, and take small sips of water throughout the day.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

The following features are indicative of Overactive Bladder:
  • uncontrollable sudden urge to urinate
  • urge incontinence
  • urinate frequently
  • nocturia

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Common Causes of Overactive Bladder

The following are the most common causes of Overactive Bladder:
  • overactivity of the detrusor urinae muscle
  • involuntary contraction of bladder
  • neurological disorders
  • diabetes
  • acute urinary tract infections

Other Causes of Overactive Bladder

The following are the less common causes of Overactive Bladder:
  • enlarged prostate
  • constipation
  • previous operations to treat other forms of incontinence
  • excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol
  • declining cognitive function
  • difficulty walking
  • incomplete bladder emptying

Risk Factors for Overactive Bladder

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Overactive Bladder:
  • older age
  • enlarged prostate
  • having diabetes
  • being overweight
  • family history
  • smoking
  • bowel control problems

Prevention of Overactive Bladder

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Overactive Bladder. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • following early bladder retraining techniques

Occurrence of Overactive Bladder

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Overactive Bladder cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Overactive Bladder can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Overactive Bladder can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Overactive Bladder

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Overactive Bladder:
  • Medical history: To evaluate disease contributing factors
  • Physical exam: To check abdomen and genitals
  • Urine test: To test for infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities
  • Neurological exam: To identify sensory problems or abnormal reflexes
  • Postvoid residual urine test: To measure residual urine
  • Urine flow rate test: To measure the volume and speed of voiding
  • Cystometry: To measure bladder pressure

Doctor for Diagnosis of Overactive Bladder

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Overactive Bladder:
  • Urologist

Complications of Overactive Bladder if untreated

Yes, Overactive Bladder causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Overactive Bladder is left untreated:
  • emotional distress or depression
  • anxiety
  • sleep disturbances
  • interrupted sleep cycles
  • issues with sexuality

Procedures for Treatment of Overactive Bladder

The following procedures are used to treat Overactive Bladder:
  • Surgery: Helps increasing bladder capacity
  • Bladder removal: Surgically constructing a neobladder or stoma helps normal functioning
  • Nerve stimulation procedure: To improve overactive bladder symptoms
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises: To strengthen pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter
  • Healthy weight: Helps reducing stress related urinary incontinence
  • Intermittent catheterization: To improve overactive bladder symptoms
  • Bladder training: To delay voiding when feeling an urge to urinate

Medicines for Overactive Bladder

Below is the list of medicines used for Overactive Bladder:

Self-care for Overactive Bladder

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Overactive Bladder:
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Helps reducing symptoms
  • Don't restrict fluid: Helps decreasing the urge to urinate
  • Limit bladder irritating foods and drinks: Helps reducing bladder irritation and urge to urinate

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Overactive Bladder

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Overactive Bladder:
  • Acupuncture: Helps easing the symptoms of overactive bladder
  • Biofeedback therapy: Helps strengthening pelvic muscles

Patient Support for Treatment of Overactive Bladder

The following actions may help Overactive Bladder patients:
  • Education: Learn new coping strategies and stay motivated to maintain self-care strategies
  • Advocacy support groups: Connect with people who experience similar problems helps coping up with the situation
  • Family and friends support: Sharing helps reducing feelings of embarrassment

Time for Treatment of Overactive Bladder

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Overactive Bladder to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Overactive Bladder.
Bladder Diseases
Urinary Incontinence

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