Why Overactive Bladder Deserves Our Attention

Overactive Bladder (OAB) is a condition characterized by a frequent and sudden urge to urinate among other symptoms.

By understanding the impact of OAB and addressing it openly, we can help break down the stigma and encourage those who suffer to seek the support they need. With the right approach, OAB symptoms can be managed.

Understanding Overactive Bladder

Signs & Symptoms

OAB through various symptoms, including:

  • Sudden and frequent urges to urinate
  • Uncomfortable urge to urinate
  • Involuntary leakage associated with urgency
  • Frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate (called 'nocturia')
  • Increased frequency of urination
While an average person urinates 6-7 times in a 24-hour period, individuals with OAB may urinate eight or more times each day and night. These symptoms can disrupt daily routines and profoundly impact one's life.

Disruption to Daily Life

OAB may complicate daily living. Imagine the challenges of waiting in a long toilet queue or trying to focus in a meeting while constantly battling the urge to urinate. Professions like teaching, which require prolonged periods without restroom breaks, may become incredibly challenging. Even simple activities such as traveling, watching a movie or attending a social function can be fraught with anxiety.
Anxiety, stress, and depression may be prevalent among individuals living with OAB. The psychological impact may be far-reaching.

Additional Complications

The consequences of OAB are more significant in the elderly population as they often deal with more than one disease or medical condition. OAB may create additional complications in their daily lives.

The Stigma Surrounding Overactive Bladder

Despite its prevalence, OAB remains underdiagnosed and underreported. A veil of embarrassment and stigma surrounds the condition, hindering open discussions and causing many individuals with OAB to suffer in silence. We need to break down the wall of secrecy and the shame that can prevent those with OAB symptoms from seeking help.

The Science

OAB is like a hiccup in your bladder’s natural rhythm

Normally, your bladder fills to capacity before your brain receives a single that it’s time to go. But in OAB, the brain receives a signal that it’s time to urinate well before the bladder has been filled, or the bladder muscles contract too frequently, signaling that it’s time to visit the bathroom, even though the bladder isn’t full. It's like your bladder is sending an 'emergency' signal when it's not an emergency.

Did you know...

33 million
American adults

Who Meets Critera for OAB?

The National Overactive Bladder Evaluation study found that 16.5% of participants met the criteria for OAB, which translates to as many as 33 million adult Americans. However, this figure may still underestimate the number of people with OAB.

~0.5 billion

Overactive bladder (OAB) is more common than you might think

An estimated almost half a billion people are living with OAB symptoms worldwide.

Overactive bladder is more than just a physical condition; it's a challenge that may complicate daily living and which affects millions.


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