What is Overactive Bladder?

When you have OAB, your brain tells your bladder it’s time to pee before it’s 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.5 This can cause major symptoms of OAB, such as urgency, frequency and leakage.2

  • Urgency is when you feel a strong need to pee that is difficult to control2
  • Frequency means that you need to pee too often (usually 8 or more times a day)2
  • Leakage is also known as accidentally peeing after a sudden, uncontrollable urge2

A healthcare professional may offer treatment options if you have some or all of these symptoms.

Living with OAB

Many people with OAB just learn to cope, rather than talk to a healthcare professional. They’re embarrassed by frequent urination and leakage or think it can’t be treated. They even plan their daily activities around being close to bathrooms to avoid urine leaks and accidents.3

Your life doesn’t have to revolve around the symptoms of OAB. The condition may be managed and treatments are available.2 Check out our tips for talking to your doctor about your OAB symptoms.

Managing OAB

For many people, symptoms are improved with lifestyle and behavioral changes2

Understanding normal and abnormal bladder function is a good basis for understanding the lifestyle modifications and techniques your healthcare professional may recommend, which may include2, 6–11:

  • Avoiding Excess Caffeine
  • Losing Weight
  • Making Dietary Changes
  • Exercising Pelvic Muscles
  • Bladder Training
  • Absorbent Garments

For some people, lifestyle and behavioral changes may not be enough, and medication, procedures and/or surgery may be considered to help manage OAB symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend combining behavioral or lifestyle changes with medication to best control symptoms and improve your quality of life. Additional management options include2:

  • Medications
  • Procedures
  • Surgery

Talk to your doctor about whether you may benefit from exploring management options.