Overactive bladder, or OAB, is a condition that affects approximately 30% of all men and 40% of all women in the United States. It is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms that can impact every element of a person’s life. In this article, we’ll explain what OAB is, its symptoms, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.
What is Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder occurs when a person has a sudden, urgent need to urinate. The feeling may be persistent throughout the day and night. Overactive bladder at night can disrupt your sleep and contribute to stress. Frequent urination at night is known as nocturia.
OAB has the potential to negatively impact your work, sleep, leisure activities, and sex life. It can be difficult to go out if you feel that you need to be close to a bathroom. When you have an over sensitive bladder, even normal activities may seem to be out of reach.
People with healthy bladders experience the need to urinate but know they can hold the urine in if necessary. For someone with OAB, the sudden, intense contraction of the bladder makes the need to urinate feel urgent.