Overactive Bladder Symptoms

Bladder Health, Featured Article, Overactive Bladder/Incontinence
on February 13, 2012

Symptoms of an overactive bladder can occur individually or in conjunction with one another, and may be a sign or symptom of an underlying genital or urinary tract issue. While many people associate signs and symptoms of an overactive bladder with normal aging, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Symptoms of urgency and incontinence aren't an inevitable part of getting older, and treatments are available.”

Symptoms. The signs and symptoms of an overactive bladder include the following, but are not necessarily limited to them exclusively. Possibly the most common symptom is an unusually strong and sudden urge to urinate. This would be measured relative to what your past personal history had been. Experiencing urge incontinence or “leaking” following or during an urgent and sudden need to urinate may also occur. Urinating frequently, usually more than eight times in a 24-hour period, is another sign of an overactive bladder. This would be despite altering patterns of liquid consumption. Finally, experiencing nocturia may still be another sign or symptom of an overactive bladder — in other words, if you wake up two or more times a night to urinate.

Medical consultation. While it may feel awkward to discuss any signs or symptoms of an overactive bladder with your physician (a very personal and private matter under most circumstances), it is important to seek medical consultation so that any underlying causes (such as a bladder tumor, prostatic hypertrophy or urinary stones) can be ruled out, and an appropriate treatment regimen can begin. Many people will choose to wear absorbent undergarments or pads to compensate for signs or symptoms of an overactive bladder, but consulting your physician about any issues you may be experiencing is generally the more prudent course of action to follow.

Impact of symptoms. Although you may be able to reach the bathroom in time to prevent “an accident” when you experience the symptoms of an overactive bladder, frequent or nighttime urination — as well as experiencing the need to drop whatever you’re doing to run to the bathroom — can serve to significantly disrupt your work life, social interactions and activities of everyday life.