Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition
where the bladder contracts involuntarily when the bladder
is being filled with urine. The muscle contractions may be spontaneous
or provoked and often times a person with OAB can not
control the muscle contractions, resulting in involuntary
loss of urine. Some people also refer to bladder control
problems as urinary incontinence. The symptoms of incontinence
or OAB may appear singly or together.
More than 33 million Americans suffer
from OAB, but as many as 80% of those who have it do not tell
family members, loved ones, or their healthcare providers
about it. It is important that you do discuss this condition
with your doctor since it can be a debilitating, chronic disease.
Anyone at any age can have OAB. Some women discover that the
leakage of urine occurs
after childbirth, when the stress and intense stretching during
labor weaken the pelvic muscles and decrease their ability
to contract, but there are many other causes as well.
is important for you to know that OAB is a treatable
condition. There are behavioral and medical therapies
available that have helped many sufferers of OAB. Your
doctor can help diagnose your condition and prescribe
a therapy or combination of therapies that is right
To help you better understand OAB it may also be
helpful to understand how the bladder works.