Overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be difficult to stop, and overactive bladder may lead to the involuntary loss of urine, also known as urinary incontinence. If you have an overactive bladder, you may feel embarrassed, isolate yourself, or limit your work and social life. Symptoms include:
- Feel a sudden urge to urinate that’s difficult to control
- Experience urge incontinence — the involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate
- Urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours
- Awaken two or more times in the night to urinate (nocturia)
Normally as your bladder fills, nerve signals are sent from your brain that eventually trigger the muscles of the bladder to contract and push the urine out. An overactive bladder occurs because the muscles of the bladder start to contract involuntarily even when the volume of urine in your bladder is low thus creating a false urgency to urinate.
While the specific cause of an overactive bladder may be unknown, there are several conditions that may contribute to its symptoms, including certain medications, urinary tract infections, excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol, aging and diabetes.
Although it’s not uncommon among older adults, overactive bladder isn’t a normal part of aging. The good news is that an evaluation in our office can determine whether there’s a specific cause for your overactive bladder symptoms.