What is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive Bladder (OAB) occurs when the bladder contracts abnormally. This may cause urinary urgency and/or frequency, a condition that can potentially disrupt daily activities, lower self-esteem, and affect quality of life.

Causes of OAB:

  • Bladder stones
  • Side effects from medications
  • Nerve damage due to trauma or surgery
  • Neurological diseases (such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease), spinal cord injury, or stroke
  • Interstitial cystitis

Signs and symptoms of OAB:

  • Urinary frequency and/or urgency
  • Urinary incontinence

Risk factors for OAB:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy & childbirth
  • Family history

OAB affects almost thirty million men and women in the United States alone.  Approximately one-third of women talk to their doctors about their incontinence, and the majority of those have been experiencing problems for over two years. The possibility of not making it to the bathroom in time is embarrassing and can cause social anxiety in many OAB patients; hence, it is known as the “closet disorder”.

There are many treatments for OAB, including:

  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Bladder training
  • Medications
  • Sacral nerve stimulation