5 main causes of an overactive bladder
Causes & Risk Factors
Overactive bladder is a group of diseases in which a person experiences frequent and uncontrollable urges to urinate. People with this condition may also experience leakage, and many often struggle to manage the symptoms and lead a socially active life. If not treated early, the condition can be quite difficult to manage and may lead to stress and result in embarrassing situations. Here’s what can cause an overactive bladder:
- Weak pelvic muscles
Pelvic muscles support the organs in the lower abdomen. Certain factors like childbirth or growing age can cause these muscles to lose strength, leading to leakage in some people. This can be prevented by regularly practicing Kegel exercises, which train the pelvic floor muscles and help build back strength.
- Nerve damage
This is one of the most commonly observed factors that cause an overactive bladder. Trauma caused to the body due to conditions like multiple sclerosis or a herniated disc can lead to faulty nerve signals being exchanged between the bladder and the brain. This results in involuntary bladder contractions, causing one to feel the urge to urinate more often.
A large majority of women are known to experience an overactive bladder during pregnancy as the growing baby presses against the internal organs of the abdomen. This puts pressure on the bladder and leads to frequent urges to urinate. It even causes leakage at times.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs can affect all parts of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. If one has an infection in the urinary bladder, they may experience an overactive bladder as the infection irritates the inner linings of the bladder. The bladder involuntarily contracts in response to this irritation, which causes frequent urination. Hygienic washroom habits are essential to prevent UTIs and any associated complications.
Diuretics stimulate the body to create more urine. Various everyday products can cause diuresis, and alcohol and coffee are the most common stimulants that people consume regularly. These products cause the bladder to fill up quickly, causing frequent urges to urinate. Certain medications prescribed for conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes are also known to lead to an overactive bladder.