Overactive Bladder

Overactive Bladder


Overactive bladder, also called OAB, is a bladder condition in which the patient may feel a sudden, frequent urge to urinate uncontrollably. The patient may have a disturbed sleep because of this. The condition can have a debilitating effect on the patient’s social and professional life. Luckily, OAB can be treated.

Signs and symptoms

A patient with OAB may feel a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate very frequently. They may also experience incontinence during these episodes. Typically, this disrupts the patients sleep and ability to lead a normal life.


OAB is caused by an involuntary muscle contraction of the pelvic floor muscles and other muscles that operate during urination. Several conditions can contribute to OAB including diabetes, neurological disorders like stroke, urinary tract infections, menopause and bladder abnormalities including bladder stones.

Risk factors

Patients with enlarged prostate glands and diabetes are at a higher risk for OAB. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases are also at a higher risk for OAB.


OAB can cause long-term mental health problems like anxiety and depression, due to the social trauma of the condition. The patient may also suffer from sleep-deprivation and issues with sexuality.


The diagnosis for OAB begins with a patient medical history, an account of their symptoms and a pelvic or rectal exam. The doctor will also require a panel of urine tests and neurological tests.


The treatment for OAB is usually a combination of approaches. The doctor may recommend a range of behavioural therapies including Kegel exercises, biofeedback therapy, intermittent catheterization and scheduled toilet breaks. The doctor may also recommend medications, bladder injections or nerve stimulants in combination with the behavioural therapy. If these treatment methods are ineffective, the doctor may recommend surgical intervention.


Healthy lifestyle choice can help decrease your risk of OAB – Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise. Drink a lot of water. Limit alcohol, smoking and caffeine intake. Practicing Kegel exercises to tighten the pelvic floor muscles can also help.

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