Overactive bladder is a problem with a person’s bladder function that causes a sudden and unexpected need to urinate. It occurs when the bladder muscles start to involuntarily contract even when the amount of urine in the bladder is low. It is the involuntary contraction that creates an urgent need to urinate.
But what actually causes this condition? Knowing the causes of overactive bladder can help you a great deal in preventing it, or at least reduce your chances of suffering the same because you will know what to avoid, what to do, and the signs to watch for just in case you are starting to develop the condition. Without much ado, here are the causes of overactive bladder.
Overactivity of a muscle in the wall of the bladder is known to the main cause of overactive bladder. Alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants can also cause symptoms.
Random contraction of the detrusor muscle
Overactive bladder (OAB) is usually the effect of spasms in the detrusor muscle, which is the main muscle found in the wall of the urinary bladder.
When your brain senses that your bladder is half full, it automatically sends out the nerves signals, which cause the sphincter and pelvic muscles to relax. At this point, the detrusor usually contracts and thereby squeezing out urine.
In the event that your detrusor muscle starts to contract at random, it might cause leakage or sudden need to urinate even when the bladder is almost empty.
Neurocognitive disorders and nerve damage
Neurocognitive disorders and nerve damage interfere with nerve signaling, thereby causing the symptoms of overactive bladder. Nerve system is widely considered to have a major role in overactive bladder.
Here are the most common causes of overactive bladder
Weak or stretched pelvic muscles
Decreased thinking ability or diseases related to the same such as Alzheimer’s disease
Incomplete bladder emptying
Pelvic organ prolapse
Hip problems or hip surgery
Low levels of estrogen in women especially after menopause
Weakened or stretched bladder muscles
Multiple sclerosis, stroke, and parkinson’s disease
Bladder abnormalities such as tumors
Giving birth through the vagina
Structural problems with the bladder itself
Of course, overactive bladder can impact any person at any age. However, the likelihood of developing this condition usually increases with age. This therefore means that old people are more at risk of experiencing OAB as compared to young people. Apart from aging, other common overactive bladder risk factors include the following:
Having excess belly fat or being overweight
Urinary tract infections
Medications that cause fluid intake or a clear increase in urination
Long-term dehydration or overhydration
Besides, anything that restricts or puts excess weight on the bladder increases the risk of developing overactive bladder. It is also important to note that any activities that damage or weaken urinary, pelvic floor, or sphincter muscles can cause or increase the risk of developing overactive bladder.