Overactive bladder (OAB) is characterized by the urgent and frequent need to urinate and being regularly wakened two or more times in the night by the need to urinate (nocturia). OAB may sometimes result in urinary in-continence, when the extreme urge to urinate can’t be controlled long enough to get to a toilet. This type of incontinence is called urge incontinence.

In people with an overactive bladder, the layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder (detrusor muscle) contracts spasmodically, which results in sustained, high bladder pressure and the urgent need to urinate (called urgency). Normally, the detrusor muscle contracts and relaxes in response to the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination.

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