Overactive bladder, or OAB, is the frequent and urgent need to empty your bladder. It affects over 30 million people in the US alone and half of the people with overactive bladder are struggling with urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) when leakage occurs. This condition can also be known as “spastic bladder” or “irritable bladder.” We understand how frustrating it can be to constantly have to find a bathroom and for your sleep to constantly be disrupted. Overactive bladder can be a nuisance at best, and life-altering at worst.
Getting up to urinate often at night, the sudden urge to urinate, leaking urine, wetting accidents and frequent urination are all symptoms of overactive bladder. While overactive bladder is most common in older adults, the condition is not a normal result of aging. It’s not something that people should ever assume they have to live with. While one in 11 people in the US suffers from overactive bladder, it mainly affects people 65 and older. However, women can be affected earlier, often in their early to mid 40s. This occurs about twice as frequently in women as it does men. About one in five adults over 40 will have some varying degrees of OAB symptoms.
Many people believe that leaking, wetting accidents and problems urinating are normal things that just start happening as we get older, but that’s just a myth. Overactive bladder is never normal. The good news is overactive bladder can be treated, and you can go back to feeling like yourself again.
However, the first step is definitely talking to your doctor. This is a common problem, so don’t be ashamed or afraid to have an open conversation with your doctor about what you have been experiencing. As many as 30% of men and 40% of women live with OAB because they think they don’t have any options, but that’s simply not the case.
At AU, we take a comprehensive approach to treating overactive bladder. We funnel patients through our nationally-recognized pathways to get the right treatment for them. The key we have found in treating OAB is to start with first-line therapies like behavioral adjustments and then work to more advanced therapies that can include minimally invasive procedures.
You can contact AU to learn more about how we treat OAB and to visit with a doctor about your condition.