What is overactive bladder?

What are the symptoms of overactive bladder?

The main symptoms of overactive bladder are:

  • An urgent need to urinate.
  • The need to urinate often.
  • Waking up to urinate 2 or more times a night.
  • The need to urinate even if you have just gone to the toilet.
  • Taking many trips to the toilet only to urinate just a little bit each time.
  • Leaking urine when you have the urge to urinate.

You may have some or all of these symptoms.

How is overactive bladder treated?

First, you can try some things at home, like making changes to your diet. Your doctor or physical therapist can teach you how to do pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) and bladder training. If symptoms really bother you, your doctor may also prescribe medicines. For severe symptoms, options include Botox injections, nerve stimulation, and surgery.

How is overactive bladder diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you about your past health. You'll have a physical exam and be asked about any symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, you may have a pelvic exam. Or if your symptoms could be caused by prostate problems, you may have a rectal exam.

You'll be asked what kinds of fluids you drink and how much. Your doctor will also want to know how often you urinate, how much, and if you leak. It may help to write down these things in a bladder diary for 3 or 4 days before you see your doctor.

You'll also be asked about any medicines you take.

Your doctor will check a sample of your urine. Depending on the results, or if your doctor thinks that your problem may have more than one cause, you may have more tests.

How can you care for yourself when you have an overactive bladder?

There are things you can do. Try pelvic floor excercises (Kegels). They can strengthen the muscles that control the flow of urine. Try to limit caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol. These may irritate your bladder. Stay at a weight that's healthy for you. Talk with your doctor if you need help with this.

What causes overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder may be caused by bladder problems, spinal cord injury, or pelvic surgery. But in many cases, doctors don't know what causes it.

Some medicines can cause overactive bladder. Talk with your doctor about the medicines you're taking to find out if they could affect your bladder. But don't stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.

What is overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder causes many strong, sudden urges to urinate, even when there's not much urine in your bladder. You may not be able to hold your urine until you get to the toilet, leading to leakage (urinary incontinence). This condition can disrupt your life and be embarrassing. But it can get better with treatment.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.