Overactive Bladder Symptoms, Causes, Treatments and More

Medically Reviewed by Madeline Hubbard, RN, BSN

Photo Courtesy: [Morsa Images/Getty Images]

For some people, there are instances when the urge to urinate can be so strong and come on so suddenly that they’re unable to hold it. Sudden urges to urinate can be difficult to control and can sometimes lead to the unintentional loss of urine (urinary incontinence). When this experience becomes chronic, it’s known as an overactive bladder, or OAB. OAB impacts millions of people in the United States, most commonly adults over the age of 40.

Many people living with OAB feel embarrassed by their condition and may isolate themselves from social situations due to anxiety about having to frequently use the bathroom. Fortunately, because OAB happens due to specific defects in the bladder’s ability to hold or store urine, this condition can typically be controlled when the source of the problem is identified.