Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Overactive Bladder

menstrual pain

How to Identify an Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is the urgent urge to urinate, that if care is not taken, you can urinate on yourself. According to research, overactive bladder is more common in women than in men. Further research shows that about 30% of the world’s population suffers from it.

This condition cannot be predicted. Thus, managing its symptoms can be quite a difficult task.

Overactive bladder is a condition that comes in handy with certain unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are capable of lowering the quality of your life. It disrupts your daily activities and deprives you of sound sleep at night.

In addition, an overactive bladder causes most people to withdraw from social activities, thereby reducing the quality of their lives and increasing isolation, and leading to psychological and emotional problems.

Some people who suffer from overactive bladder tend to get depressed easily. They also tend to face more emotional distress than those who have normal bladder activities. Coupled with this symptom is the discomfort that accompanies it.

As much as an overactive bladder is treatable, getting the right medication or treatment can be somewhat difficult. However, there are available treatments that can manage overactive bladder and reduce the rate at which the sudden and urgent urge to urinate comes.

The symptoms of an overactive bladder are unpleasant. Its consequences are as worse on the health. For some people, it is the discomfort of the symptoms that make them sad, not the consequences of the symptom.

Having an idea about what an overactive bladder is, is a good first step to managing it if you have it. Having an idea of overactive bladder includes; knowing the causes and the symptoms, as well as what to do as soon as you see these symptoms.

This article elaborates on the basic things you need to know about overactive bladder.


It is rather significant to note that not all urine leakages are caused by an overactive bladder. Some factors outside overactive bladder can lead to urine leakage; an example is laughing too hard and also holding urine for so long, such that the bladder can no longer hold it.

Age heightens your chances of developing an overactive bladder. Although this is abnormal, that is, it is not a normal process or condition of aging. Thus, if you see any of these indications, do not ignore them. Visit your Doctor to get full medications and management suggestions.

Overactive bladder is detected or determined by the urgency to urinate. Some of the signs of overactive bladder include;

  • A sudden and almost-uncontrollable urge to urinate
  • Constant loss of urine
  • Constant urination (over 10 times in 24 hours)
  • Waking more than twice or three times maximum to urinate in the night.

Though the symptoms of overactive bladder can change with time, and it varies from person to person. However, identifying the issue has to involve a medical professional, as certain other diseases and illnesses have similar symptoms.

It is best to pay a visit to a doctor whenever you feel these symptoms in order to get yourself properly checked and be certain about what the cause is.


Urine is produced in the kidney, and when the production is done, it travels down to the bladder. After this process, your brain notifies or signals your body about the need to urinate. This is how you know that you want to urinate.

While urinating, the muscles in your pelvic floor relax such that urine is able to exit your body.

The major cause of the overactive bladder is the involuntary contraction of the bladder muscles. It sends a signal to the body about the frequent need to urinate even when the bladder is not full. The contraction of the bladder muscles is caused by various underlying factors. This is why it is advisable to speak to a Doctor to suggest and commence treatment.

Some underlying causes of overactive bladder include;

Neurological Conditions

Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis are chronic health conditions that can disrupt the function of the nervous system. One of the major things they disrupt is the connection between the nerves and the bladder muscles; thus, communication is lost between the two phenomena.

Nerve Damage

Another underlying cause of overactive bladder is certain damages, whether temporary or permanent, caused to the nerves. Some forms of nerve damage include;

  • Complicated diabetes; also known as diabetic neuropathy
  • Brain or spinal cord infections
  • Injuries to the spine, abdomen, or pelvis
  • Defects of the neural tube

These factors can damage the nerves. One of the implications of this is an overactive bladder.

Other causes include;
  • The usage of certain medications that increases the production of urine
  • Drinking too much fluid
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Infections to the urinary tract
  • Excess caffeine and alcohol consumptionaddiction
  • Consumption of other bladder irritants
  • Certain bladder illnesses like bladder stones


Some treatment measures have been identified to help with the management of overactive bladder. Some of these management procedures include;

Pelvic Floor Exercise and Therapy

Certain therapists are specialized in handling the muscles in the pelvis. With specialized exercises targeting some muscles, the occurrence of the urgent urge to urinate will automatically reduce, both in the day and at night.


Some medications for overactive bladder are available in pharmacies. These medicines perform two functions, they include reducing symptoms of overactive bladder and reducing the frequent urine leakage. Although, some side effects like constipation, dry eyes, and dry mouth have been associated with these medications. However, asides from these, they are generally safe to use.


Botox can reduce the rate at which the bladder muscles contract. It does this by weakening or temporarily paralyzing the bladder muscles, such that they do not contract as frequently as they used to. Botox treatment can last between 6 and 8 months. Therefore, it is required that you repeat it after a space of 6 to 8 months.

Bladder Training

Bladder training is the intentional holding of urine for few minutes before going to urinate. Doing this can help reduce the frequency of urination and also improve the capacity of the bladder to hold urine. If you continue with the training, the bladder will get used to it and begin to adapt.


Usually, the last option, surgeries, are suggested to increase the capacity of the bladder.

Overactive Bladder Diet

Diet also performs a very important function in the management of overactive bladder. Certain foods have been identified to be bladder irritants, thus, increasing your overactive bladder symptoms risks.

Paying rapt attention to what you eat will help you identify what kind of foods trigger the overactive bladder symptoms. Some of these foods that trigger overactive bladder include;

  • Carbonated drinks; the bubbles from carbonated drinks can irritate the bladder and increase your chances of developing an overactive bladder.
  • Water; water is indispensable and vital for the body to perform its metabolic processes. However, as healthy as water is, drinking too much of it can increase the rate at which you urinate.
  • Drinking anything before bed; drinking anything liquid a few hours before going to bed would increase the rate at which you wake up in the night to urinate.
  • Gluten sensitivity; people with gluten allergies tend to experience more symptoms of overactive bladder. Gluten is a protein located in wheat products.
  • Caffeine; Caffeine can trigger an overactive bladder. It is present in ice creams, soda, chocolate, coffee, and certain over-the-counter drugs.
  • Irritating foods; some of the foods that increase the symptoms of overactive bladder include; spicy foods, citrus, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and flavoring.

Avoiding these foods can help beat down the risks of overactive bladder. In addition to this, consider using multivitamin supplements or other supplements that can be helpful.

Natural Remedies for Overactive Bladder

Supplements and Vitamins

Some herbs, vitamin-rich foods, and supplements are great remedies for overactive bladder issues. Some of these herbs include; Chinese mushroom extract, corn silk, and capsaicin. Multivitamin supplements and magnesium hydroxide can improve the symptoms of overactive bladder.


Some studies showed that acupuncture can remedy overactive bladder. However, it might take a longer time.

Essential Oils

Some essential oils are capable of calming the nerves and muscles in the body, including the raging ones in your bladder, which causes an overactive bladder. Some of the best oils for overactive bladder include;

  • Clary sage oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Ylang-ylang oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil

In conclusion, an overactive bladder can reduce the quality of the life of its victim, as it comes with inconvenience, worry, and discomfort.