The Overactive Bladder

Women with OAB feel a sudden urge to urinate, sometimes followed by leaking. Some women leak on the way to the bathroom, or while they are pulling down their clothes. Sometimes the whole bladder empties. It is common to feel the frequent urge to go even though your bladder isn't full. 

Made of muscle, the bladder walls hold urine. As urine flows into the bladder, the walls expand to make room for more fluid, like a water balloon. The muscles that surround your urethra, the tube you urinate from, tighten to hold in urine while the bladder muscle relaxes. 


When you urinate, your brain signals the urethra and pelvic floor muscles to relax. The bladder muscle squeezes, pushing the urine out of the body. Typically, women urinate four to seven times per day and one time at night. 


In women with OAB, the bladder muscle is overactive and squeezes too often. These bladder spasms make it feel like you need to urinate often and quickly, even if there isn't much urine in your bladder. 


For more information about the Overactive Bladder download this PDF.