October 24, 2014
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Bladder (Overactive)

 Health Home >> Bladder (Overactive) >> Understanding overactive bladder 


Overactive bladder symptoms and diagnosis

Your symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB) may be different from someone else's. People with overactive bladder have sudden intense urges to urinate; they may visit the bathroom 8 or more times a day. In addition, people with overactive bladder may need to use the bathroom several times during the night, and many may leak urine involuntarily during the day or night.

To cope with possible urine loss and the embarrassment that may go along with it, many people with overactive bladder change their schedules to include looking for bathrooms, reducing intake of fluid, changing diet, and reducing physical activity.

If you recognize any signs or symptoms of overactive bladder in yourself, take action, see your doctor. It's important to get a confirmed diagnosis. Your doctor will ensure that your symptoms aren't caused by another condition with similar symptoms such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), certain types of inflammation of the vagina, multiple sclerosis, bladder stones, and diabetes, or by medications such as diuretics (water pills).

To make a diagnosis, your doctor will first ask you for a full medical history. Your doctor will also order lab tests to help rule out infections, glucose in the urine, and other potential causes of your symptoms. You may be asked to keep a diary over at least 3 days to determine how many times a day you go to the bathroom.

Your doctor may also ask you how your symptoms affect your everyday life. Our Doctor Discussion Guide and Overactive Bladder Questionnaire can help you prepare for your doctor's visit.


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