Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder is not just a normal part of aging. There is no need for overactive bladder to take over your life. Urology Associates specializes in the treatment of overactive bladder. Our urologists will work with you to develop bladder-training plans, prescribe medications, or perform surgery if conditions become serious.

About Overactive Bladder:

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a term used to describe a group of urinary symptoms rather than a specific disease itself. An overactive bladder often produces a sudden, strong urge to urinate that may lead to an involuntary loss of urine (urinary incontinence). Urinary incontinence does not need to occur for overactive bladder to be diagnosed, yet 40% of patients with overactive bladder will have urinary incontinence.

Overactive bladder is a very common condition which affects millions of Americans. At least 14% of the population is diagnosed with an overactive bladder. However, as much as 40% of the population may have OAB symptoms. Overactive bladder is often under-reported by patients for fear of embarrassment or criticism. Both men and women are affected by overactive bladder, but it is slightly more common in women. The prevalence of OAB increases with age, yet any age group may be affected. Overactive bladder does not appear to affect certain ethnic groups more than others.

The cause for overactive bladder can be complex. One potential cause for overactive bladder is a disruption of nerve signals. Normally, when the bladder is full, signals from your bladder travel to your brain allowing for urination to occur. In overactive bladder, signals may be sent to your brain even when your bladder isn’t full, causing unexpected urges to urinate. Additionally, the actual bladder muscles themselves can be overactive. In this case, the bladder may just contract on its own without warning, causing urinary urgency or incontinence.

Risk Factors for Overactive Bladder:

There are multiple risk factors for overactive bladder. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • Women experiencing menopause
  • Men with prostate issues
  • Neurological diseases (dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, diabetes)
  • Back problems
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • UTI’s
  • Bladder stones

Overactive Bladder Symptoms:

Overactive bladder is a group of symptoms rather than a disease itself. Therefore, patients may experience a variety of different symptoms that may or may not cause urinary incontinence. Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms associated with overactive bladder include:

  • Urge incontinence
  • Frequent urination (more than 8 times a day)
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Losing sleep from urination urges
  • Unexpected/sudden urges to urinate

How We Diagnose Overactive Bladder:

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Urine tests: To rule out infections and other potential causes for your symptoms.
  • Post-residual volume: This measures how much urine remains in the bladder after urination. An ultrasound probe is placed on your lower abdomen and estimates how much urine is in your bladder
  • Urodynamic studies: Urodynamics is a test that measures the mechanical and neurological components of the bladder. Using sensors and a sophisticated computer software program, our team assess how well your bladder is functioning and emptying. This test can be performed right in our clinic.
  • Cystoscopy: Examining the urethra, prostate, and bladder with a small camera
  • Bladder pressure and flow rate

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Treatment Options:

  • Bladder training
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Botox injections
  • InterStem devices

Overactive bladder occurs when a person loses control of their bladder and has sudden urges to urinate.


Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy

The physician assistants at Urology Associates provide pelvic floor muscle therapy for issues of the pelvic floor in men and women.

Peripheral Nerve Evaluation for Interstim

A peripheral nerve evaluation is an exam that evaluates the condition causing your overactive bladder or urinary incontinence.

Meet Our Doctors

Our physicians are experienced in treating the complete range of urologic conditions and diseases, from kidney stones and sexual dysfunction to prostate cancer, incontinence and infertility.