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Overactive Bladder

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder is a sudden urge to urinate that is difficult for you to control. It occurs when the muscles of the bladder contract (tighten) more than normal. This causes a frequent or sudden need to urinate. You usually have to urinate more than 8 times in 24 hours. You may need to get up more than once in the middle of the night to urinate. You may also leak urine before you are able to make it to the bathroom.

What increases my risk for overactive bladder?

Your risk for overactive bladder increases as you get older. Previous vaginal birth, chronic constipation, and diabetes increase your risk. Obesity, nerve injury, stroke, and spinal cord problems also increase your risk.

How is overactive bladder diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and current medicines. He or she will examine your pelvic area and abdomen to look for problems that may be causing your symptoms. You may need blood and imaging tests to help find the cause of your symptoms. You may be asked to keep a log of your urination patterns. Write down the number of times you urinate over 24 hours, the amount, and if you have urine leakage.

How is overactive bladder managed?

How is overactive bladder treated?

The following treatments may be done if other methods are not working:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.