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Overactive Bladder

In people with an overactive bladder (OAB), the layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder (detrusor muscle) contracts spastically, sometimes without a known cause, which results in sustained, high bladder pressure and the urgent need to urinate (called urgency). Normally, the detrusor muscle contracts and relaxes in response to the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination.

Overactive Bladder

People with OAB often experience urgency at inconvenient and unpredictable times and sometimes loses control before reaching a toilet. Thus, overactive bladder interferes with work, daily routine, intimacy and sexual function; causes embarrassment; and can diminish self-esteem and quality of life.

A malfunctioning detrusor muscle causes overactive bladder. Identifiable underlying causes include the following:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate, BPH)
  • Nerve damage caused by abdominal trauma, pelvic trauma, or surgery
  • Bladder stones
  • Drug side effects
  • Neurological disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord lesions)
  • Bladder cancer or prostate cancer

There are three symptoms associated with an overactive bladder:

  • Frequency (frequent urination, including at night)
  • Urgency (urgent need to urinate)
  • Urge incontinence (strong need to urinate followed by leaking or involuntary and complete voiding)

If you have any of these symptoms please contact us to schedule an appointment at

Treatment for OAB may include one or more of the following:

  • Bladder retraining
  • Medication (e.g., oral medicines, transdermal medicines)
  • Botox
  • Sacral nerve stimulation
  • Surgery