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Overactive Bladder

What is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a urological condition that affects men and women of all ages. An estimated 20% of Canadians over the age of 35 suffer from OAB, and the prevalence is similar between men and women. While there may be different causes of OAB, one thing is certain: OAB is not normal in anyone of any age.

Normally when your bladder is full, nerves in the bladder send a signal to the brain indicating the need to go to the bathroom. Once you reach the bathroom, your brain sends a signal to the large muscle (the detrusor) in the bladder to contract. This contraction pushes the urine out of your bladder. At the same time, the support muscles surrounding your urethra (the sphincter muscles) get a signal from the brain to relax and allow the urine to pass through.

OAB occurs when the detrusor muscle contracts involuntarily. This causes the person to feel a sudden and sometimes overwhelming urge to urinate, even when the bladder is not full.