Women with OAB commonly experience a sudden and strong desire (urgency) to urinate that cannot be delayed. Some women with OAB lose urine on the way to the bathroom. Others may not actually lose urine but have urinary urgency, frequency (going to the bathroom more than normal), or nocturia (getting up more than once or twice to urinate at night). Involuntary bladder contractions are usually the underlying cause of OAB. Most women control their urinary urgency by deciding when it is convenient to urinate.
With OAB, it is difficult to control the urinary urgency when the bladder is full. This appears to be caused by a communication problem between the brain and the bladder but we don't understand this completely. OAB is a chronic condition like diabetes and high blood pressure. The treatment is long term, but good control is achievable. Many women with OAB also have stress urinary incontinence (loss of urine with cough, sneeze, or activity). Treatment options below may help both incontinence subtypes.
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