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About Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition characterized by a sudden need to urinate, usually with daytime and nighttime frequency.

OAB occurs when the bladder muscle (detrusor) squeezes or contracts more often than normal and often at inappropriate times. Instead of staying at rest as urine fills the bladder, the detrusor contracts while the bladder is filling with urine.

How is Overactive Bladder Diagnosed?

Most often, the diagnosis is made by the physician taking a history and ruling our more concerning causes of urinary symptoms.

A urination diary is often helpful in keeping an accurate log of urinary symptoms. Documenting symptoms can help your urologist make the proper diagnosis.

A urinalysis (UA) must be performed to rule out infection and to look for glucose (sugar), blood, white cells or difficulty concentrating the urine (specific gravity). After urination, residual urine is often checked using an ultrasound or catheterization. In some patients, a urine cytology or endoscopy (cystoscopy) of the bladder is warranted. It is sometimes useful to perform bladder pressure testing using cystometry (CMG) to document bladder (detrusor) over activity during filling and exclude obstruction. Imaging of the urinary tract with cystogram, computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is rarely needed.