Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) is the sudden and urgent need to urinate. It is often characterized by the inability to get to the bathroom in time to urinate. Involuntary leakage of urine can occur. Having to wake from sleep to go to the bathroom during the night may be another symptom of OAB.

Causes of OAB

There are a variety of causes of OAB. It is important to have full and comprehensive examination by a Urologist to illicit the cause of OAB. Causes of OAB include neurologic disorders, impaired mobility, dietary habits, chronic pain, history of recurrent urinary tract infection, pelvic prolapse and age. An estimated 46 million adults, older than age 40 in the US report OAB symptoms. The prevalence of OAB symptoms increases with age in both men and women.


  • Urgency is the hallmark symptom- the compelling desire to
  • Urinate that is difficult to defer.
  • Frequent urination
  • Nocturia- Waking up at night to urinate
  • Uncontrollable leakage of urine


Most cases of OAB are diagnosed through a detailed history, physical examination and symptom assessment. Other tests may be utilized to aid the physician in making the correct diagnosis

Additional testing include:

  • Urine analysis / Urine culture
  • Bladder scan for post void residual (PVR) volume
  • Voiding diary
  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound or CT scan
  • Urodynamics (UDS)
  • Cystoscopy


Treatment of OAB follows a three-tier approach that include the following:

Behavioral therapies

  • Bladder Training
  • Pelvic Muscle Exercises
  • Biofeedback
  • Fluid and Dietary Management

Oral Medications

  • Antimuscarinic
  • Beta-3 Agonist

Transdermal preparations


Interstim ® and Botox ® injections