Women who have this condition develop a sudden urge to urinate. It becomes difficult for them to control that urge. Many women feel that they need to pass urine several times and they may also have urge incontinence.

Overactive Bladder Causes

Involuntary contractions of the muscles that control bladder creates an urgent need to urinate. In an overactive bladder muscles contract even if the volume of urine is low. This can happen due to several conditions such as – hormonal changes during menopause, formation of bladder stones, bladder tumors; urinary tract infections; diabetes and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and stroke.

Symptoms associated with overactive bladder can also be due to:

  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Inability to walk quickly to the bathroom owing to walking difficulty
  • Declining cognitive function
  • Drinking excessive alcohol & Caffeinated beverages, smoking, drugs abuse
  • Use of Diuretics – medicines that cause your body to make lots of urine

Overactive Bladder Symptoms

  • Frequent urination – seven to eight times or more in 24 hours
  • A strong urge to urinate – which is almost sudden and difficult to control
  • Urgency incontinence – An urgent need to urinate
  • Unintentional loss of urine after feeling of urge
  • Nocturia – Need to urinate two to three times in the night

Risk Factors

  • Aging – It increases the overall risk of developing overactive bladder
  • Pelvic floor muscles dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Cognitive decline due to aging, Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke


Overactive bladder can disrupt the overall quality of your life. The symptoms associated with this condition can also lead to anxiety, depression or emotional distress; sleep disturbances and interrupted sleep cycles, and sexual problems. Furthermore, in some cases, emotional disturbances, anxiety and depression can also lead to overactive bladder. Treatment of these conditions can ease the symptoms.

Social Stigma and Embarrassment

Disruption of normal lifeWhen you wake up more than two or three times in the night, unexpected frequency and urgent nighttime urination can disrupt your life.

Many women feel nervous, uncomfortable and therefore, try to restrict their activities, social life and work if they have overactive bladder. If you have this problem, you should not worry because a uro gynecologist can comprehensively evaluate your condition based on your symptoms, lifestyle and medical history to determine an underlying cause for your overactive bladder.

Why You Should See a Specialist Urogynecologist?

In some cases, overactive bladder may also be associated with another disorder called mixed incontinence (stress incontinence and urgency occur together). In stress incontinence, acts such as laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising or any activity or physical movement can put pressure on your bladder and leads to unintentional loss of urine. Both these issues must have to be addressed and treated individually. A visit to a gynecologist who specializes in urogynecology will help address both these issues separately.

A specialist may be able to help you with this combination of bladder problems.

Bottom Line

Overactive bladder needs a holistic treatment approach involving lifestyle and behavioral changes, exercise, dietary modifications, timed voiding and bladder controlling techniques that strengthen pelvic floor muscles. In addition, doctors also prescribe medicines. If these approaches don’t offer substantial benefits in terms of relieving the symptoms of your overactive bladder, then there are additional treatment options available for the effective treatment of your overactive bladder.