There are many types of urinary incontinence, each one has different signs and symptoms. Men and women, in fact, 1 in 3 adults, can experience symptoms of OAB over their lifetime. The symptoms might come and go for some people, however, when OAB becomes bothersome or happens frequently it is time to seek help.
Overactive Bladder generally has 4 main symptoms. If you experience most of these over a 24- hour period you most likely have OAB.
The 4 primary symptoms are:
1. Urge Urinary Incontinence- This occurs when one has a strong and sudden urge to urinate. The bladder squeezes and a bladder leak can happen. Depending on your muscle strength and fullness of the bladder, this can lead to the loss of a few drops of urine or enough to wet through clothing.
2. Frequency- It is normal to urinate 4 to 6 times per day. Urinary frequency is defined as urinating more than 8 times per day.
3. Urgency- This is a sudden and strong urge to go to the bathroom immediately. It may or may not be associated with a bladder leak.
4. Nocturia- It is perfectly normal to get up to go to the bathroom at night once. As we age even twice per night is acceptable. If you find that you have to get up at night more than 2 times to go to the bathroom, you have Nocturia. This can be particularly distressing because of the lack of sleep and the problems this may cause.
If you notice these symptoms, know you are not alone. Overactive Bladder is common and there are strategies to reduce these symptoms. You can also have each one of the symptoms separately, meaning that you have some type of bladder dysfunction, but not necessarily OAB.
Regardless, there is help. Professionals like me are trained in pelvic floor problems that can help reduce and stop your symptoms. Don’t suffer teh embarrassment of OAB, connect with me here, and let’s talk.
Dr. Shelia Craig Whiteman DPT, CLT is a doctor of physical therapy and a health coach. While practicing physical therapy, she specialized in pelvic health, lymphedema and oncology. As a health coach Dr. Shelia is particularly passionate about helping women to reduce and stop bladder leaks.
She is the best-selling author of “To Pee or Not To Pee?” The Guide for Reducing and Eliminating Urinary Incontinence. Her second book, Stop Worrying About Bladder Leaks, further explains how and why bladder leaks can happen. As an advocate for health and wellness, she participates in several educational presentations and volunteer activities in her community. Dr. Shelia is a certified fitness instructor and has taught fitness and pilates classes over the past 20 years. She lives with her family in Mitchellville, Maryland.