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Does an Overactive Bladder Limit Your Social Life?

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is your social life limited by an overactive bladder? Benis Arapovic/PhotoSpin

If you experience a sudden, urgent and uncontrollable need to urinate even if your bladder isn’t full, you may have overactive bladder syndrome. OAB is a common problem that affects an estimated 1 in 11 U.S. men and women.

Other estimates show between 40 to 80 percent of U.S. women do not seek treatment for their symptoms, that include:

This means that you get a sudden urgent desire to pass urine. You are not able to put off going to the toilet.

You need to going to the bathroom often — more than seven times a day. In many cases it is a lot more than seven times a day.

You need to go more than once during the night.

Urge incontinence
This is a leaking of urine before you can get to the toilet when you have a feeling of urgency.

OAB occurs from involuntary contractions (spasms) in the muscle wall of the bladder, which can significantly increase the urge to urinate and may cause leakage.

The majority of women who develop this condition are between the ages of 45 and 60 years old. However, the problem can occur at any age and is common in people age 70 and older. Experts say OAB should not be considered a normal part of aging.

For some people OAB causes significant social, psychological, occupational, domestic, physical and sexual problems that interrupt normal life. These people may isolate themselves or limit their work and social life just to hide their problem.

A survey of 1,000 women ages 45 and older conducted by Allergan and endorsed by the nonprofit Women's Health Foundation revealed that approximately two-thirds of women have never had a discussion with their doctor about their bladder health due to embarrassment.

"These women often worry about having an accident and mapping out bathrooms wherever they go. Unfortunately, many settle for living with the condition in secret and are even reluctant to tell their doctors when their medicine no longer works for them.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Overactive Bladder

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