What is an overactive bladder?
is a term used to describe a condition in which a person has lost some level of control over his bladder. Symptoms of overactive bladder include:
- Frequent urination (more than 8 times in a 24 hour period)
- Waking up more than 2 times per night to urinate
- Urgency- a sudden and strong desire to urinate
- Urge incontinence - accidental leakage of urine due to an inability to get to a bathroom on time
A person with an overactive bladder may have some or all of these symptoms. A voiding diary or bladder profile
may help shed light on the exact pattern. Overactive bladder in men can be confused with issues regarding the prostate. It is estimated that between 17 and 53 million people are affected by an overactive bladder1
. In the United States, overactive bladder is one of the 10 most common chronic conditions, ahead of diabetes and peptic ulcers2
. A 1998 Gallup study done in six European countries examined the prevalence of overactive bladder symptoms. Overall, 17 percent of adults had one or more symptoms of overactive bladder and the incidence consistently increased with advancing age. Overactive bladder causes are poorly understood, and it is hoped that ongoing research will shed light on this all too common condition. An Overactive Bladder Can Have a Big Impact
Many studies have shown that overactive bladder has a significant detrimental effect upon quality of life. Sufferers often experience:
1. Wein AJ, Rovner ES: The overactive bladder: an overview for primary care health providers. Inter J Fertility 1999;44: 56-66.
- A sense of isolation
- Loss of self-esteem
- Avoidance of social activity and interaction.
2. Fantl JH et al: National Center for Health Statistics. 1996.