What's Overactive Bladder
(OAB), including urge urinary

OAB is a real medical condition

Even though overactive bladder (OAB), including urge urinary incontinence, may affect an estimated 1 in 3 US adults 40 years of age and older at least "sometimes," a lot of people aren't sure what OAB is. They might think it's just a sign of getting older, or that they can't do anything about those "embarrassing" leaks. But OAB is a real medical condition that results from the involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle. In other words, your internal plumbing doesn't always work the way it should. When you have OAB, you might feel the frequent urge to go to the bathroom or have an accidental leak when you least expect it. Watch what Dr. Reed has to say about OAB being a real and treatable medical condition.

Woman With OAB

Patricia says:

“I started developing overactive bladder symptoms in 2006. I was constantly going to the bathroom, sometimes not even making it there. It was just too much.” Hear more

You can help manage your OAB symptoms

Your healthcare professional can suggest Kegel exercises or other lifestyle changes that may help provide some relief from your symptoms. There are also medications like VESIcare that work to help control the bladder muscle. Learn more with our Internal Plumbing Guide. Then, when you're ready to talk to your doctor, try the Doctor Conversation Guide for customized conversation starters. It could be time to find out if VESIcare may be right for you. Over 2 million people in the US have been prescribed VESIcare.

OAB myths and facts

Learn more about this common medical condition


My overactive bladder symptoms just happen. I can't do anything to treat them.


OAB is a real, common medical condition that can be treated. There are helpful Kegel exercises and lifestyle changes that your doctor may suggest. If your doctor diagnoses OAB, he or she may choose to prescribe a medication like VESIcare to treat symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. So don't just cope with these OAB symptoms, help manage them instead. Use the Doctor Conversation Guide to get the conversation going.


Kegel exercises alone can control my bladder leaks.


Kegel exercises are easy to do and are designed to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder. While they may help some people, these exercises alone may not be enough to reduce your OAB symptoms.


All I need to do to help my bladder symptoms is drink less liquid.


Using the bathroom 8 or more times a day can be a sign of OAB, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're drinking too much liquid. OAB is the result of the involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle, which means those urges and leaks can happen before your bladder has expanded to its full size. Make sure you discuss with your doctor how much liquid you drink to see if it's affecting your OAB symptoms.


My overactive bladder symptoms are just a normal part of aging.


OAB symptoms are not a normal part of aging. Adults of any age can have OAB symptoms, and they may be able to be treated. So if you're dealing with leaky pipes, see your doctor. If he or she diagnoses OAB, ask if treatment options like VESIcare (solifenacin succinate) may help to manage your symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. Learn more about how VESIcare might help you in How VESIcare Works.


My bladder symptoms aren't serious enough to discuss with my doctor.


These symptoms could be a sign of OAB or other medical conditions that require medical attention. The frequent urges or leaks of OAB are part of a real medical condition that may affect over 46 million American adults 40 years of age and older at least "sometimes." When you have OAB, always visiting the bathroom can interrupt the things you love to do. If you're experiencing bladder symptoms, don't just put up with them. Make an appointment with your healthcare professional, and use the Doctor Conversation Guide 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.