<< Go back to blog

What is Overactive Bladder - What Causes Overactive Bladder

what is overactive bladder

When it comes to the human body, not everything that goes in must come out. But most of it will have to leave, and expelling whatever that may be is done in 3 ways – sweating, urinating, or defecating. All three are among the many natural bodily functions that we all benefit from, but when it comes the 2nd one there it is less than ideal if you need to ‘go’ way too often. This is part of what is overactive bladder, and if it becomes a reality for you then you’re going to hate how it means you have to go to the washroom so darn often. Fortunately a medication like Myrbetriq can quell those urges.

The first thing to understand here regarding OAB is that it is not considered a disease. Instead the medical community refers to it as a group or urinary symptoms, and of course the primary one of those is the sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate that happens far too frequently. Now even if you are fortunate enough to have a normally-functioning bladder you will still be able to sympathize with others who aren’t so lucky and already very familiar with what is overactive bladder.

You can imagine that while it’s not the worst thing in the world to have these urinary urges while you’re at home, it may well be the absolute worst when they happen while you’re out and about during your day. No doubt it means having to use some washrooms that you would rather not use. And let’s also keep in mind that it’s not nearly as practical for a woman to relieve herself discreetly in the bushes or somewhere similar like it is for a man. Yes, there are female stand-up urinary devices you can get, but the point still stands.

So for all these reasons there’s plenty of motivation to help people who have an overactive bladder. We’ll look at what is overactive bladder in more detail here, as well as what are the other OAB symptoms and what can be done to further improve your condition so that those symptoms aren’t as severe anymore, and you can return to having more of a normal life.

Leak Proofing

We will also get to what causes overactive bladder, but first let’s go over all of the other symptoms that may go along with the frequent urinary urges that are standard for anyone who has OAB. Here the most troubling on them is going to be urinary incontinence, which for some is a very clinical way to describe leaking urine. We obviously don’t need to explain how this has the potential to be very embarrassing, especially if you’re wearing a bikini or if you’re at a yoga practice and you’ve already drawn enough attention to yourself with being unable to control flatulence.

Stress incontinence isn’t directly connected to what is overactive bladder, but for people prone to it they may experience it worse when they have OAB and stress incontinence can have people leaking when they do things like laugh, sneeze, or even any type of sudden and intense physical exertion like lifting a heavy box. In addition to urinary urgency you may also just simply urinate an excessive amount. If you find that you have strong urges but then pass very little urine then that may be more of a sign of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) where the bladder is being pressed on by the prostate. Read here for more on better prostate health.

OAB Causes

There are hundreds of messages communicated throughout your body every day, and it’s along the neural (nerve) pathways that these messages travel. All 3 of the elimination processes we highlighted at the start of this entry are initiated because the nerves deliver a command to get them started, but for people with an overactive bladder the nerve signals and the bladder aren’t on the same page. It can also be that the muscles around the bladder are malfunctioning too and making the overactive bladder that much overactive.

Having a severe urinary tract infection can mean a person develops an overactive bladder, although this is not a usual occurrence. Major hormonal changes in the body can be a big factor in development too, and for some people their OAB may be resulting from structural changes to the brain or spinal cord. This can be because of encephalopathy or other similar diseases or conditions. All related to what is overactive bladder and helpful to know for those who believe they’re starting to have less control over this bodily function.

That’s the long and short of what is overactive bladder, and the last thing we’ll mention is that the good news is medications used to treat OAB are very effective for most people. They mean you are going to the bathroom on your terms much more often.

<< Go back to blog

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


Please wait while the page is loading. Do not hit refresh or the browser back button to avoid any loss of information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Service team via the chat option on our website or calling us toll free at: 1-800-891-0844