Debunking myths and misconceptions of OAB

When you have an overactive bladder (OAB) asking for directions to the nearest restroom seems like a constant in your life. Having the urge to urinate is always there.

No matter your age, having an overactive bladder may take an emotional toll on your life. The constant urge to urinate is frustrating, and frankly… it’s exhausting.

Before I was diagnosed with an overactive bladder, I was always asking for the nearest restroom. At first, I thought I was just drinking too much coffee or something. Young and active people like me can’t get an overactive bladder, that’s for old people… right?

The truth is, that is just another myth about overactive bladder.

As the urge to urinate was slowly overpowering my life, I decided to go to a doctor. As I shared my concerns and what I thought were facts, she mentioned that most of them were misconceptions.

Here’s a list of common myths and misconceptions surrounding OAB:

  1. MYTH: It’s ONLY suffered by older women
    FACT: Although it is more common for post-menopausal women to develop OAB, women over the age of 18 can develop it too. In fact, about 17% of women over the age of 18 have an overactive bladder.
  2. MYTH: Urinary Tract Infections are caused by OAB
    FACT: Urinary tract infections or UTIs can present themselves with similar symptoms to that of OAB, like the urgency to pee. A UTI however, is caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract and causing an infection. As such, it can be treated with antibiotics. Once the infection is gone, the symptoms should go with it. Having OAB or not will not cause you to develop a UTI.
  3. MYTH: Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and OAB are the same condition
    FACT: They are not. Stress Urinary Incontinence may lead you to experience involuntary urine leakage while performing activities such as laughing, coughing or exercising. This happens because the pelvic floor muscles have been weakened which may be caused by childbirth, obesity, chronic coughing or from performing high-impact activities over the course of many years. On the other hand, OAB happens when the nerves around the bladder signal that the bladder is full even if it isn’t. When you have an OAB and experience involuntary loss of urine followed by the urgent need to visit the ladies’ room, it is called urge incontinence.
  4. MYTH: Kegels will solve the problem
    FACT: Kegel exercises are recommended as part of the treatment for OAB because it helps manage the condition, but it is not a cure.

Constantly going into the ladies’ room is not fun, but OAB is manageable. If you or someone you love suffers from OAB talk to your doctor about finding better ways to manage it. Also, consider joining a clinical trial now enrolling in your area as an option to take control of your OAB.

Participants of clinical trials receive study-related care and medication at no cost, have access to possible new treatment options and receive compensation for time and travel. Women’s Health Care Research is currently seeking volunteers to participate in OAB research studies.
Click HERE to learn more!