Can You Have Overactive Bladder at a Young Age?

Can You Have Overactive Bladder at a Young Age?

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  • What Is Overactive Bladder?

    What Is Overactive Bladder?

    Overactive bladder (OAB) is characterized by the uncontrollable need to urinate.

    The amount of urine involuntarily released through OAB varies from a few drops to a full bladder. More women than men experience OAB, as do more people over age 40, according to the National Institute on Aging. But the problem can happen to anyone.

    Causes can include:

    • weak bladder muscles
    • damage to nerves that control urination
    • blockage from enlarged prostate (in men)
  • How Do Age and Gender Affect OAB?

    How Do Age and Gender Affect OAB?

    OAB is more common in women over age 40 because the muscles controlling urination weaken over time. Factors contributing to weakened muscles include the physical pressure of pregnancy and childbirth.

    Some people have a genetic predisposition to OAB (yes, urinary incontinence sometimes “runs” in families). Men who develop OAB should have a prostate exam to determine whether or not the urinary tract is restricted.

  • What Is Not OAB?

    What Is Not OAB?

    It’s important to rule out other conditions that could be mistaken for OAB by visiting a doctor. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)—including infections of the kidneys and bladder—and pressure from an enlarged prostate can cause frequent urination. Both of these conditions require treatment.

  • What’s a Normal Amount of Bathroom Visits?

    What’s a Normal Amount of Bathroom Visits?

    There is no “normal” number of bathroom visits per day. That makes it difficult to know how many trips to the bathroom might indicate OAB. A very general guideline is that fewer than 10 bathroom visits a day suggest normal bladder function. It’s important to acknowledge if you’re urinating more often than usual, or if you feel an uncontrollable need to urinate.

  • Should I Limit My Fluid Intake?

    Should I Limit My Fluid Intake?

    It is important to drink plenty of fluids daily. You can decide the right amount for you, but 64 ounces a day of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free fluids can be your guide. Too much liquid will increase your bathroom visits whether or not you have OAB.


  • What Types of Drinks Should I Avoid?

    What Types of Drinks Should I Avoid?

    There may be a relationship between what you’re drinking and your OAB. Many people find that drinking alcohol irritates the bladder and increases urination. Heavy alcohol consumption also could contribute to loss of control of bladder muscles.

    Caffeine increases the frequency of urination and can therefore worsen OAB. Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption if you have OAB.

  • Does Sex Cause OAB?

    Does Sex Cause OAB?

    A healthy sex life doesn’t cause OAB. In fact, for women, a healthy sex life could actually help OAB. Vaginal contractions during intercourse and orgasm are a workout for the muscles of the pelvic floor, also known as Kegel muscles. Strong Kegel muscles can help women with OAB control urination by strengthening their pelvic floor.

  • Does OAB Cause Depression?

    Does OAB Cause Depression?

    Getting up more than twice a night is common for people with OAB. That means that people who experience OAB often don’t get enough sleep, which in turn can lead to depression.

    People with OAB often feel embarrassed by their condition. Feelings of shame isolating oneself to hide one’s condition can contribute to feelings of depression and loneliness.

  • What Can I Do to Manage My OAB?

    What Can I Do to Manage My OAB?

    Your doctor can prescribe medicines to help control your bladder muscles. There are also surgeries for OAB in which tissue is connected from one side of the abdomen to the other to support the bladder.

    You can manage and maybe control your OAB with some lifestyle strategies. For example:

    • Strengthen pelvic muscles with exercise.
    • Keep a diary of how often you visit the bathroom. This can help you determine which factors help or hurt your OAB.
    • Reduce consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
    • Put yourself on bathroom schedule. Visit the bathroom hourly, or more often, without fail. This keeps your bladder from being too full.
  • You and OAB

    You and OAB

    Even though OAB can be hard to discuss, it’s important to talk about with your doctor. You might find you have an underlying condition that can be treated, and you’ll learn about medical treatment options, such as medications and surgery. Don’t let OAB prevent you from enjoying your life.