Overactive bladder (OAB) is the name given to the following collection of bladder symptoms:
- Urgency: A sudden and intense need to pass urine that cannot be put off. This can happen even when your bladder is not full. Sometimes you may not make it to the toilet in time and may leak- this is called urge incontinence.
- Frequency: Going to the bathroom numerous times during the day (usually >7 times).
- Nocturia: Waking up more than once at night to go to the toilet.
Overactive bladder affects women of all ages, and is not just a result of getting older. Overactive bladder symptoms are caused by the bladder muscle squeezing to empty out urine inappropriately. This often happens without warning, and when you do not want it to.
You may be scheduled for procedures to test the function, as well as evaluation the inner lining of your bladder. Sometimes overactive bladder is caused by an infection of the urinary tract. Your diet may also contribute to your symptoms; for example, caffeine, chocolate, citrus and carbonation are thought to significantly worsen OAB symptoms.
There are many treatments, such as dietary changes, bladder retraining, medication, neuromodulation or a combination of therapies which can help you to manage your symptoms.