Overactive Bladder - Causes

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If known, what are the causes of or reasons for your overactive bladder?

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What are the causes of overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder is typically caused by spasms of the muscles of the bladder, resulting in an urge to urinate (hence, urge incontinence). Overactive bladder is primarily a problem of the nerves and muscles of the bladder. Detrusor is one of the major muscles of the bladder. Its contraction in response to filling of the bladder by urine is one the steps in the normal process of urination. The contraction and relaxation of the detrusor muscle is regulated by the nervous system. Approximately 300 cc of urine in the bladder can signal the nervous to trigger muscles of the bladder to coordinate urination. Voluntary control of the sphincter muscles at the opening of the bladder can hold the urine in the bladder for longer. Up to 600 cc of urine can be contained in a normal adult bladder.

Overactive bladder typically results from inappropriate contraction of the detrusor muscle regardless of the amount of urine.

The common abnormalities of the nervous system that cause of overactive bladder are

  • spinal cord injury
  • strokes
  • Parkinson's disease
  • dementia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • diabetic neuropathy.

There are also some causes of overactive bladder and urge incontinence with a normal nervous system. For example, urinary tract infection, bladder stones, or bladder tumors can cause also cause overactivity of the detrusor muscle, leading to overactive bladder.

Sometimes no apparent cause of overactive bladder can be determined (idiopathic overactive bladder).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: urine, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I have had an overactive bladder since I was a kid. I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night about three times a night. I urinate at least over eight to times a day maybe more. I don't have a large prostate and I don't have cancer (Please I don't ever want that). I lived through that with my father. One doctor wanted me to take Leviquin. That would do more harm, than good to my body. Just take that anyway. No thank you. I am 47 years old today. I feel 20 years old.

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Comment from: Vilares, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: March 21

My grandmother has overactive bladder, at least it"s what several doctors said. She as all the symptoms of an overactive bladder but she also has a sensation of burning inside the vagina when urinating, and sometimes she has a sensation of stinging in the bladder as if she had broken pieces of glass stinging the bladder, but then stops. This is consistent with overactive bladder or there"s something that is missing. She has all the urine and blood analyses within the normal parameters, no cells in the urine that might indicate cancer.

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