Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    Head over to this page:

    Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Overactive Bladder ? Don?t Suffer in Silence
    Diane Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP posted:
    Considered abnormal at any age, overactive bladder is a very common condition that affects both men and women but is more common in women. Overactive bladder is often called OAB. Persons with OAB will complain of a sudden and unexpected strong need to pass urine, called ?urgency.? Many will feel they are unable to delay voiding after urgency happens and they fear incontinence or urine leakage. A moderate or large amount of urine leakage can happen, usually when someone is trying to get to the bathroom. To prevent this unwanted urine leakage, most people will go to the bathroom more frequently, sometimes more than eight times per day. They may find themselves awakening several times during the night to urinate.

    There are many causes of OAB such as medications (e.g. diruretics or ?water pills?) and drinking caffeinated beverages.

    Many people never report symptoms of overactive bladder to their doctor or nurse practitioner because they believe that treatment is not available or effective or that the symptoms are normal consequences of aging or childbirth.

    Overactive bladder has been called the closet disorder as most people with this condition just live with it despite the fact that there are successful treatments. Only one of three women bring it to the attention of their health care provider and two-thirds of patients that first seek medical advice have had their symptoms for more than two years. Instead of seeking help, many people with OAB adjust their habits and lifestyle to accommodate the management of symptoms and may adopt such coping mechanisms as restricting fluids and urinating to a timed schedule or at the first sensation of urgency.

    Effective treatment includes the combination of drug therapy with behavioral interventions.
    Was this Helpful?
    31 of 42 found this helpful
    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    I have brought up my overactive bladder symptoms several times but in the absence of diabetes or a UTI-my doctors have basically ignored the problem. How do you get a doctor to take it seriously?
    Diane Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    I am not surprised that your doctor has not taken your OAB problem seriously as less than 50% of health care providers ask patients if they have any bladder control problems. I am sorry to say that this may be because they are not sure what to tell them to do with the problem or they may not understand the condition. I would keep bringing it up when you return to see your doctor or better yet, keep a bladder diary.

    A bladder diary is like a food diary"014you can mark when you go to the bathroom, if you have "01Curinary accidents"01D or incontinence, how much you drink, etc. As a nurse practitioner, having the patient hand me a record or some other piece of information they find important makes me stop, look at it and review it with the patient. So this may get your doctor's attention more thoroughly and have him or her take your symptoms more seriously. Do not give up! There is lots of help for your symptoms.
    JimG28 replied to Diane Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP's response:
    I am glad I found this site as I thought it only for Rx information. You are correct as to call it a closet disorder. IT is a depressing ailment and I did stop doing things I liked to do. I did get the courage to bring this up to my GP. It was the best thing I could have done. Those commercials where the familiar gotta go gotta go jingle for OAB...that was me and gotta go was the truth. After the battery of tests to make sure it wasnt life threatening(prostate cancer runs in my family) and the entire battery of urodynamics at the Urologist, which I may add were uncomfortable but necessary. They gave me vesicare 5mg. Though, it did help it didnt take it all away. I asked to up the dosage and now I am on the 10mg. What a life changer...way less spasms and the urge to go then and there. I will say the Vesicare takes time to work and after about 2 weeks did start seeing a change for the better. I did and still do keep a diary. My symptoms are for the most part way better and now can go back and enjoy life like I used to. My only complant about the Vesicare is the dry mouth...I just chew gum or suck on a life saver. Drinking water because i am always thristy kinda defeats the purpose. I do however need to use products just in case an episode does rear it head but hey, Life could be worse.I do urge everyone who has an issue with their bladder to push the issue with their doctor and if he/she wont listen, time to find one that will. I was fortunate that mine listened and understood and helped me get the issue under control and make my quality of life managable again.
    Elaine_Plummer responded:
    No matter what therapy is being used to manage OAB, it is unlikely that it will be 100% effective. Though I wish the statistics were better, they aren't. One aspect of overactive bladder management, that I always share when answering questions, is that you don't have to leak on yourself. I suggest that women, and men, use pads made for menstrual protection to help them manage their issue. One advantage is that the products can be purchased in a more discreet way in the aisle for period products rather than in the medical products section of the store. Also, it is less obvious when checking out. Importantly though, there are comfortable products that can help hide the odor. To be clear, I am a R.N. and work for Always so the product I am mentioning is one of ours. Always Maxi LeakGuard neutralizes odors and is comfortable to wear, even with sudden leaks; very important attributes for those that have to use protection for their incontinence.

    I recently had complicated back surgery that resulted in a tear in the sac that controls the nerves to my bladder. While I had an incontinent episode early on, it hasn't been a problem. However, it certainly made me aware of the importance of having backup products available to ensure security and no compromise to my active life.
    Sharpshot94z responded:
    Hello My name is Sean I'm 21 and I think I might have OAB. But I'm not 100% sure. It all started when I was 17, I decided to get circumcised. And after I awoke the surgery and some time had passed I had to urinate, but after trying for some time with out success it felt like my bladder was going to explode. A nurse came in to give me a catheter. as she inserted it into my penis I felt this slight sharp pain as it passed my prostate and entered my bladder. and ever since that day. I have to urinate constantly if my bladder only fills a little. my urine stream is really weak and goes all over the place.
    KatieattheQOLstore responded:
    I really think that the quality products from medial lines such as Tena and Prevail are really where you will find the most for your money. They are high quality and very reliable. They are the best of the best! The other main brands like Depends or Poise are simply bunched up toilet paper, basically. blech!![br>[br>I recommend this site: The Quality of Life Store. They ship free, fast, and discreet to your door. Worry Free!!! They are reliable and locally owned in Washington. They aren't those liquidators who sell cheap and fast then disappear never to be heard from again. I trust them! They are new and great.[br>[br>Thanks for your honest open post. We need more of these!!
    DOODLES02 replied to KatieattheQOLstore's response:
    I already use Tena afnd I am at a point where I have to
    wear 2 of the longest/heavy absorbency at a time and
    still I have more accidents than not.

    Thus question regarding any medications that might help
    as this is out of control now.

    Just asking so that when I go to the Doctor next week
    he will know I've done my homework on this issue and
    will pay attention to what I am saying.
    SammyW replied to Sharpshot94z's response:
    Sean - Find an excellent urologist in your area and get evaluated. You may be able to get this fixed. Do you have a good academic (university-affiliated) medical center in your area?
    mmpadp456 responded:
    Everything I've read, even the doctors, consider this an "awake" problem. I've tried several medications, modified my lifestyle and still baffle my doctor. I don't wake up at night. I watch what I drink throughout the day and before bed. I am aware of the side effects of my medications. With all this in mind, nothing has worked to stop the abundant flow of urine while I sleep, or wake me up before it happens. Any ideas? I read sometthing about an electrical pulse from the brain to the bladder?
    atti_editor replied to mmpadp456's response:
    Hi mmpadp456,

    I am sorry that your doctors have not been able to find a solution to your problem. Here is some information that I found on the electrical stimulation for urinary incontinence that you mentioned. Have you spoken with your doctor about using this method?

    Best wishes,

    Helpful Tips

    How to prevent UTIsExpert
    Changing some of your daily habits may help you avoid urinary tract infections. Drink lots of fluid to flush the bacteria from your ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    20 of 34 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit Diane Newman's website