The Difference Between OAB and Urinary Incontinence


Elizabeth Hanes, RN    

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Woman Talking to Doctor

While overactive bladder (OAB) and urinary incontinence both involve issues with the bladder’s function, the two conditions are not the same. OAB involves issues of urinary urge, while incontinence involves the leakage of urine from the bladder. Let’s look at how these two conditions differ--and what can be done to treat them.

What is OAB?

Overactive bladder (sometimes called irritable bladder) disproportionately affects women more than men. OAB can be caused by a neurological condition like multiple sclerosis, but for most people the cause is unknown.

Your bladder doesn’t have to run your life. Experts share their tips for getting a handle on overactive bladder, whether it’s through lifestyle changes, bladder retraining, or medications.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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