In the United States, 20 to 30 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder (OAB), which is one type of urinary incontinence. Although OAB can affect anyone of any age, it is not a normal part of getting older. A lot of patients are too embarrassed to talk about their symptoms with their families and even their doctors, so it often goes untreated. Here are a few facts to keep in mind if you think you may be suffering from overactive bladder.\nOveractive Bladder Symptoms\nOveractive bladder is a frequent, sudden urge to urinate\u2014seen either with or without urinary incontinence.\nTypical symptoms of overactive bladder include:\n\nDifficult to control urge to urinate\nInvoluntary loss of urine associated with urgency\nUrinating eight or more times a day\nWaking up two or more times during the night to urinate\n\nOveractive Bladder Causes\nThere are many possible causes of overactive bladder.\nEven though age alone is not a contributing factor of OAB, there are several other things that could lead to an increased urge to go, including:\n\nSignificant caffeine use (coffee, tea, colas) or significant alcohol consumption\nCertain medications\nInfections\nNerve damage\nPrevious pelvic or vaginal surgeries\nWeak pelvic muscles\nWeight\n\nTreating Overactive Bladder\nOveractive bladder is a treatable condition.\nThere are a number of treatment options for overactive bladder that your doctor can suggest for overactive bladder. Management can be achieved through:\n\nBehavioral modifications\nPelvic muscle physical therapy\nMedications\nBladder injections with BOTOX\u00ae\nNerve stimulation\n\nPreventing Overactive Bladder\nYou can reduce your risk of overactive bladder.\nPracticing healthy habits can help prevent OAB. To reduce your risk, it is suggested that you:\n\nDo not smoke\nExercise daily\nLimit caffeine and alcohol\nPractice pelvic strengthening exercises\n\nIf you are experiencing symptoms, or think you may be at risk of developing overactive bladder, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. Your health care provider can work with you to find prevention or treatment methods that best fit your needs. To learn more about urinary incontinence issues or to schedule an appointment, please visit the Department of Urology at UPMC website or call 412-692-4100.