Overactive Bladder Facts

Overactive bladder, also called urge incontinence, is the sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate several times during the day and night. Urge incontinence is also called hyperactive or irritable bladder. Learn more about overactive bladder ›

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

  • Urinate eight or more times in a 24-hour period, or

  • Get up to urinate two or more times a night

  • IC causes pain in and around the bladder, but overactive bladder does not. With IC, the pain often gets worse as the bladder fills and eases when the bladder is emptied. To get temporary relief from the pain, people with untreated, severe IC may urinate as many as 60 times a day.

  • Overactive bladder often causes urine leaks, but IC usually does not. People with overactive bladder may feel a sudden, strong urge to urinate but be unable to make it to a toilet in time. Some go to the bathroom frequently in an effort to head off embarrassing accidents.

Learn More About the Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

Could You Have an Overactive Bladder?

One out of six people over the age of 40 has an overactive bladder.

Treatments for Overactive Bladder

Many people take medication to treat overactive bladder (OAB) with great success. Whether out of embarrassment or denial, some put off seeing their doctor to get a prescription that might bring relief. And still others start medication and then stop it without ever getting the full benefit. The more you know, the better able you’ll be to make smart choices about medication for OAB.

In a recent study, researchers asked more than 1,300 OAB patients who had stopped taking their medication about their reason for stopping. Nearly half said the medication didn’t help as much as they expected. In fact, while medication can often reduce urine leaks or extreme urges to urinate, it may not stop them completely. Side effects—such as dry mouth, constipation, and dry eyes—may also occur.  It's important that you and your doctor select a treatment that best controls  your individual symptoms.

Learn More About Treatments for Overactive Bladder

Living With Overactive Bladder

Sudden urine leaks or an urgent, frequent need to “go” can be troublesome when you have an active, busy life. The good news is that there are some simple solutions to help keep your bladder in check.

Learn More About Living With Overactive Bladder

Your Guide to Overactive Bladder

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Did You Know?

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Which of the following is NOT a symptom of overactive bladder?