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What Is An Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder is an embarrassing, disruptive, chronic medical condition that affects approximately 17 million people in the U.S., including nearly one of every five adults over the age of 45.  It is marked by symptoms of urinary frequency or urinating more than eight times in a 24-hour period, including two or more times a night.  Other symptoms include urinary urgency, a strong and sudden need to urinate, and urge incontinence, the accidental loss of urine caused by a sudden and unstoppable urge to urinate.  Many people with overactive bladder--or OAB--mistakenly believe that the condition is an unavoidable part of aging they just must learn to live with.  As a result, many patients suffer in silence without seeking help.

What should you do if you have problems controlling your bladder?  The first step is to consult your health care provider.  Management options include behavioral changes, exercises, biofeedback, medicine; for cases of stress urinary incontinence, a minimally invasive surgical procedure can provide dryness for more than 85% of patients.  The good news is that despite the cause of urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, in many cases, there are treatment options to help patients regain control.

  For more information, click here.

Created: 7/16/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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