Overactive Bladder
(OAB) symptoms

Know the physical symptoms, including urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and urinary frequency

Like most medical conditions, there are specific physical symptoms associated with overactive bladder (OAB).

These are some of the main symptoms of OAB:

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    Having a strong need to go to the bathroom right away.

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    Having to go to the bathroom too often, also called "urinary
    frequency." A need to go to the bathroom 8 or more times per day.

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    Leaking or wetting accidents, also called "urge urinary incontinence."

What causes these symptoms? When you have OAB, your bladder muscle contracts before your bladder expands to its full size, meaning your internal plumbing is working overtime. Medications like VESIcare may help manage your OAB symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage.

Woman With OAB

Barbara says:

“I attempted to manage my own overactive bladder symptoms by not drinking as many liquids. As a matter of fact, I was more concerned about having to go to the bathroom than maintaining hydration.”
Hear more

Watch out for these clues, too

Besides the physical symptoms listed above, there can be other important clues that you may
be experiencing OAB symptoms: specifically, the ways you might be trying to cope with your
condition. Take a look at the list below. How many of these describe you?

Be aware if you're:

  • Cutting down on drinking fluids even when you're thirsty
  • Needing to know where a bathroom is at all times
  • Bringing pads or extra clothes with you when you're away from home
  • Wearing darker colors to hide leaks

When to talk to your doctor

You don't always have to compromise when it comes to OAB. Take charge by talking to your healthcare professional about your bladder symptoms and some of the ways you've been trying to manage them. Check out the Doctor Conversation Guide for an easy, customizable way to get
the conversation going.

The Doctor Conversation Guide

Answer a few questions to get
personalized results, tips, and
resources that will help you talk
to your doctor.


VESIcare is for overactive bladder with symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. The recommended dose of VESIcare is 5 mg once daily.
If the 5 mg dose is well tolerated, your doctor may increase the dose to 10 mg once daily.


VESIcare is not for everyone. If you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take VESIcare. VESIcare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. If you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue, stop taking VESIcare and get emergency help. Tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain, or become constipated for three or more days. VESIcare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. Common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion.

Please see accompanying complete Prescribing Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder occurs when you cannot control your bladder contractions. When these muscle contractions happen too often or cannot be controlled you can get symptoms of overactive bladder, which include urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and urge urinary incontinence (leakage).


The balloon-shaped organ inside the body that holds urine.

Bladder tracker

A record of your daily bathroom routine

Bladder training

A method of going to the bathroom on a regular schedule and emptying the bladder completely


The ability to control the timing of urination or a bowel movement

Contraction or Contracts

To shrink, tighten, or become smaller.


The need to go to the bathroom more than eight times in a 24-hour period.


The loss of bladder control that results in leakage.

Kegel exercises

Exercises to tighten and relax the bladder muscle and hold the bladder in its proper position.

Stress incontinence

Leakage due to weak pelvic muscles that happens while coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, jumping, or other physical activity


A sudden sense of needing to go to the bathroom right away.

Urinary tract (or urinary system)

The system in the body that removes waste from the blood and carries it out of the body through urine

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

An illness caused by foreign bacteria, viruses, or yeast that grows in the urinary tract


The liquid that contains extra water and waste made by the kidneys that passes from the body.


A doctor who specializes in diseases of the male and female urinary system and the male reproductive system


A drug or substance that increases the volume of urine output.

Urge urinary incontinence

The strong, sudden need to urinate due to bladder spasms or contractions.