Signs and Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

By Noelina R. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Having to go to the restroom with every turn is not only downright annoying, but also disrupting in one's everyday routine. Although having an overactive bladder and incontinence - when you lose control of your bladder - is common during the menopausal transition, don't it control your life.

Continue reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms over overactive bladder as well as what you can do to stop making frequent pit stops throughout your busy day.

Symptoms of overactive bladder

Symptoms of Overactive Bladder

Women who suffer from an overactive bladder may have the following symptoms:

  • Sudden need to urinate that's hard to control
  • Frequent urination of 8 or more times in a period of 24 hours 
  • Having to urinate two or more times throughout the night
  • Experiencing uncontrollable loss of urine right after an urgent need to urinate (incontinence)

Usually, symptoms of an overactive bladder allow a woman to be able to diagnose herself with the condition.

Signs of Overactive Bladder

signs of overactive bladder

If you decide to visit the doctor to diagnose the condition, he or she will first review your medical history and perform a physical exam of your abdomen and genitals for any irregularities.

Next, your doctor will perform and evaluate results from following tests:

  • Urine sample to test for abnormalities, such as infection or traces of blood

  • Neurological exam that may identify unusual reflexes or sensory problems 

  • Blood tests, proving a hormonal deficit (particularly of estrogen) 

  • Distinct tests, including measuring urine left in the bladder, urine flow rate, and bladder pressure

Together with symptoms, these signs can help determine the cause of incontinence in women, helping them to better treat the condition.

What Can I Do If I Have An Overactive Bladder?

For women who suffer from incontinence due to the menopausal transition, they will first be encouraged to take measures to resolve the hormonal imbalance.

Elementary steps begin by making simple lifestyle changes, which includes optimizing your diet with phytoestrogens as well as maintaining a healthy weight with regular exercise, which simultaneously helps those suffering from stress urinary incontinence. Also, consider the use of alternative medicines, like phytoestrogenic herbs and hormone-regulating supplements. If you have leakage problems, check out some more successful incontinence treatments to keep you out of the restroom for longer.

Women who suffer from an overactive bladder due to other causes will have to personalize treatment plans with their doctors, which may include medications that relax the bladder, thus alleviating the symptoms and reducing episodes of urge incontinence.

For all women, management practices include using absorbent pads, scheduling toilet trips, performing pelvic floor muscle exercises, and training your bladder to hold urine for longer.

Key Takeaways

Overactive bladder symptoms include experiencing an immediate need to urinate that's hard to control, frequent urination of 8 or more times in a day, and having to urinate at least twice throughout the night. It can also lead to an uncontrollable urine loss after an urgent need to urinate. Tests whose results doctors use as signs to diagnose the condition include urine samples, neurological exams, blood tests, and more.

Ultimately treating an overactive bladder begins with understanding the underlying cause. For menopausal women, hormonal imbalance is liking the culprit, which can be treated by enacting lifestyle changes and taking alternative medicines. For others, further medication may be necessary to relax the bladder. Either way, hope is not lost, and proper urinary function can be achieved one step at a time. 

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