With overactive bladder, you have many strong,
sudden urges to urinate during the day and night. You can get these urges even
when you have only a little bit of urine in your bladder. You may not be able
to hold your urine until you get to the bathroom. This can lead to urine
Overactive bladder is very
common in older adults. Both men and women can have it, but it's more common in
Recent research estimates that more than 4 million people in the U.S. suffer from symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition. For most of them, staying close to a bathroom is a necessity. On average, a healthy adult urinates no more than seven times a day and seldom needs to get up at night to use the bathroom. Someone with a severe case of IC, on the other hand, may urinate as frequently as 60 times in 24 hours, including multiple nighttime trips to the bathroom.
Overactive bladder is a kind of
urge incontinence. But not everyone with overactive
bladder leaks urine.
Even without incontinence, overactive
bladder can make it hard to do the things you enjoy. The need to drop
everything and race to the bathroom can disrupt your life. And if you leak,
even if it's only a little bit, it can be embarrassing.
Overactive bladder can cause other problems too. Hurrying to the bathroom
can lead to falls and broken bones. Overactive bladder can also cause sleeping problems,
urinary tract infections.
are too shy to talk about their bladder problems. But overactive bladder can
get better with treatment. Don't be afraid to talk with your doctor about how
to control your overactive bladder.
What causes overactive bladder?
Overactive bladder is caused by an
overactive muscle in the bladder that pushes urine out. There are many things
that can make this muscle overactive. It can be caused by a bladder infection,
stress, or another medical problem. Some brain problems, such as
Parkinson's disease or a
stroke, can also lead to overactive bladder. 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 are the symptoms?
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
Taking many trips to the bathroom only to urinate just a little
bit each time.