What crosses your mind when you think of multiple trips to the bathroom to pee? Is it an infection? Incontinence? Pregnancy? Those are all plausible explanations, but frequent urination could boil down to one condition: an overactive bladder (OAB).

It’s not something that only affects the elderly or women who have had children, and its symptoms are easily mistaken as another health issue. You may not even realize you have it!

According to the Urology Care Foundation, more than 33,000,000 Americans alone have an overactive bladder. That’s a huge number. OAB is often confused for incontinence, of which there are several forms.

One of the biggest hurdles to people understanding OAB is that many are too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it. They live with it thinking that there is not much that can be done, or attribute it to old age, an unrelated health problem, or their gender. But that’s not the case.

Its cause can be traced back to problems with the nerves that link your brain and bladder, or involuntary contractions in the bladder muscles. Anyone can be affected. It’s time you learn what’s up with OAB and how to spot it in your life.

  1. Urgency

    If you’re overcome with a strong urge to urinate whether your bladder is full or not, it could be OAB. The feeling is sudden and can make you feel like you won’t reach the bathroom.

  2. Nocturia

    Notice that you wake up often to use the restroom? Getting up more than once during the middle of the night is another symptom of OAB.

  3. Frequent Urination

    This is probably one of the most common signs, and can vary from person to person. Medically speaking, going more than 8 times in a 24-hour period is considered frequent urination.

Ready to get things checked out? Stay tuned to hear more about the signs of this bladder condition straight from the doctor. If any of these symptoms sound like you, don’t be afraid to speak with a health professional.

Keep in mind that not everyone will have all the symptoms. Men and women may present differently, and you might find that you only have one. Expect to be tested for infections, nerve damage, and abnormalities in the pelvic or prostate region.

You may even be subjected to the cough test. The inability to hold your urine when coughing, laughing, or during intercourse could possibly be connected to OAB as well.

Treatments for an overactive bladder can include a range of options like medicine, nerve therapy, Botox injections, or lifestyle adjustments. Recommendations may include small changes in diet, lowering your liquid intake, or performing Kegel exercises.

It is best to meet with your general physician or a urologist to determine the best course of action for your health. If your bladder function is impaired, the source of your incontinence or frequent urination can be addressed through proper treatment.


Do you believe you may have OAB? Are you constantly experiencing the urge to pee but know it’s not an infection?