Overactive Bladder (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Are there any risk factors for overactive bladder?

Some of the common risk factors for overactive bladder include

  • advanced age
  • stroke
  • spinal cord injury
  • dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • prostate enlargement
  • prostate surgery
  • multiple pregnancies.

Race is not a risk factor for overactive bladder as it can affect people of all races.

What are symptoms of an overactive bladder?

The symptoms of an overactive bladder include frequent urination, urgency of urination, nocturia (urinating in the middle of the night), and urge incontinence. Overactive bladder may cause significant social, psychological, occupational, domestic, physical, and sexual problems. Again, these symptoms should not be considered a normal part of aging.

How is overactive bladder diagnosed?

Careful medical history and diligent review of symptoms related to overactive bladder are very important. Getting up to urinate at least three times in the middle of the night, increased urinary frequency (urinating at least eight times daily), urinary urgency, and urinary incontinence are all important clues in evaluating someone suspected of having overactive bladder.

In addition to a general physical examination, a pelvic exam in women (to assess for dryness, atrophy, inflammation, infection) and a prostate examination in men (to assess for size, tenderness, texture, masses) are helpful in excluding other contributing conditions.

Urine analysis (UA) to assess for infections and occasionally urine cytology (to look for cancer cells in the bladder) are sometimes advised in individuals undergoing evaluation of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. Ultrasound measurement of the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination (called post-void residual) may also provide additional information about the cause of urinary incontinence (obstruction to urine flow, weak bladder muscle).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Overactive Bladder - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your overactive bladder?
Overactive Bladder - Diet Question: What types of dietary changes have you made to help your overactive bladder? Does the diet help?
Overactive Bladder - Symptoms Question: What symptoms do you experience with an overactive bladder? How do you deal with it?
Overactive Bladder - Causes Question: If known, what are the causes of or reasons for your overactive bladder?