An overactive bladder is when there’s an issue with your bladder function that makes you feel like you need to urinate, usually suddenly and often. For some people, this change happens over time and they just learn to live with the symptoms of an overactive bladder without getting it treated; however, the symptoms can be frustrating and life-changing. What are the signs of an overactive bladder?

Needing to Urinate Often

Since everyone’s body is different, many people have different ideas about how many times is too many times when it comes to urinating throughout the day. If you have a high fluid intake, you may be needing to go more often. However, if you’re going more than eight times during the day, it’s probably time to visit your urologist to see if you have an overactive bladder or an underlying problem, especially if you’re not drinking a lot of fluids. This feeling of needing to urinate often may or may not come with a sudden intense urge to urinate, although this is common in people with an overactive bladder. If you’re visiting the bathroom so many times a day that it’s disrupting your life, it’s a good time to get checked out by your doctor.

Experiencing Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is when you suddenly feel like you need to urinate immediately. This is sometimes preceded by a feeling of having to go, but more often than not, this feeling will seemingly come when you were feeling fine a couple minutes beforehand. People who experience urge incontinence as a result of an overactive bladder can have accidents—the feeling to urinate can be unbearable and impossible to ignore, and if you can’t readily locate a restroom, accidents can happen. Urge incontinence could be the result of an overactive bladder. If you’re regularly experiencing sudden, intense urges to urinate, you could have an overactive bladder. Treatment is available for both urge incontinence and an overactive bladder, so visit your doctor.

Waking During the Night

Again, since everyone’s body is different, maybe it’s normal for you to wake during the night to urinate. However, if you’re getting up more than two or three times a night to urinate, you may be experiencing a common symptom of an overactive bladder. Waking up several times a night can disrupt your sleep cycles and prevent you from being fully rested for your day. Not getting enough sleep or disrupted sleep can have an impact on your life as it is, but experiencing disrupted sleep as a result of an overactive bladder can be very frustrating. Visit your doctor if you’re constantly getting up most nights of the week to urinate, because you may be experiencing an overactive bladder.

From constantly needing to be close to a bathroom to getting disrupted sleep and even having accidents, an overactive bladder can feel like it’s controlling your life. If you’re experiencing any of these signs of an overactive bladder, talk with your doctor to see if you have an overactive bladder and what you can do about it.