About Overactive Bladder (OAB)


OAB symptoms affect millions of American adults

If your healthcare professional (HCP) tells you that you have overactive bladder (OAB), you are not alone. As many as 46 million Americans 40 years of age or older reported OAB symptoms.

Men and women with OAB experience symptoms such as a sudden urgency to urinate that is frequent and cannot be controlled. These uncontrollable urges to urinate can sometimes lead to leakage – accidental wetting.

What does the AUA say about overactive bladder?

According to the American Urological Association (AUA), which is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, the lack of bladder control may affect a person’s daily activities. Many people with OAB just learn to cope with their condition, rather than talk to their HCP about it, because they are embarrassed or think it can’t be treated. They plan their daily activities around being close to bathrooms to avoid urine leaks and accidents.

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How does OAB happen?

Urges and leaks can happen when communication between your bladder and brain tell you it's time to urinate before your bladder is full. This can also happen when your bladder muscle is too active.

Either way, your bladder muscle contracts too early, causing the bladder to empty before it should. This causes the sudden urge to urinate and may lead to frequent urination.

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder (OAB)
Do you know what overactive bladder symptoms to look for?

The Urology Care Foundation, the official foundation of the American Urological Association (AUA), identifies the major symptom of overactive bladder (OAB) as a sudden, strong urge to urinate that you can’t control. This urge may cause you to constantly cope with the need to use the bathroom, or you may have wetting accidents. When a person has some or all of the following symptoms, an OAB treatment option may be prescribed by a healthcare professional:

1. Urgency: The urgency  may be strong enough to cause urine leakage;
2. Frequency: Urinating more than eight times in 24 hours in one of the primary symptoms of OAB;
3. Leakage: People trying to cope with leakage may wear absorbent products like pads in case of wetting accidents.


Taking an Active Role in Your Overactive Bladder (OAB) Treatment


Working with your doctor and staying informed about your treatment is key to managing your OAB symptoms

Having an ongoing and honest talk with your healthcare professional (HCP) is one of the most important steps you can take. Be sure to tell your HCP in a detailed way how your overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms affect you.

Your HCP may suggest a treatment plan for you that may include taking a prescription medicine for OAB. You should follow the prescription instructions exactly as they are written. It is also important that you ask your HCP about what you can expect from this medicine. Along with the medicine you may be prescribed to take, you may also benefit from making certain lifestyle changes.

Food and Drink:
Talk with your HCP about how you should manage you fluid intake throughout the day and how much you should drink before bedtime. Try to avoid spicy, citrus, and tomato-based foods, which can irritate your bladder.
Plain water and non-citrus fruits (such as apricots, papayas, watermelons, and pears), are all good choices for people with OAB.

Limiting drinks with caffeine – such as coffee and some soft drinks – may reduce the frequency of needing to urinate.

Weight Management:
Being overweight puts extra pressure on your bladder. Even losing a small amount of weight with diet and exercise may help ease OAB symptoms. You should always talk to your healthcare professional before starting any weight loss or exercise program.

Pelvic Exercises:
Performing pelvic exercises can help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which are important for holding urine in the bladder and may prevent leakage.
These bladder control exercises are also called “Kegel” exercises. Talk to your HCP for more information.



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