Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is the sudden and urgent need to urinate. Overactive bladder is a very common condition and affects millions of people.


Overactive bladder can be associated with other urinary symptoms including frequency, urgency, urgency incontinence. When the bladder muscles contract often it can cause:

  • Urges to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Getting up more than twice a night to urinate
  • Bladder muscle spasms
  • Bladder leakage (known as incontinence)


Overactive bladder is caused by the layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder contracting spastically, sometimes without known cause. This results in symptoms of sustained, high bladder pressure and urgent need to urinate. Normally, the muscle around the bladder contracts and relaxes in response to the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination.


Risk factors for overactive bladder include infections including chronic cystitis, prostatitis, or urethritis. Also, obstructive diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and urethral strictures are risks that can predispose to overactive bladder. Finally, neurologic diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis can cause overactive bladder symptoms as well.


Treatment of overactive bladder ranges from pelvic floor exercises to medications. In addition, some patients who cannot be controlled with medications may benefit from percutaneous nerve stimulation, botox injections into the bladder, and/or InterStim Therapy.

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