Feature Article

Overactive bladder in women: advances in management

William MA Kuteesa, Kate Moore



Overactive bladder is an important cause of urinary incontinence in women. Several new treatment options are available, but bladder training remains an essential part of management.

Key Points

  • The clinical syndrome of overactive bladder (OAB) is a common cause of urinary incontinence in women.
  • The unpredictable nature of OAB results in greater anxiety and depression than is seen in women suffering stress incontinence.
  • Symptoms of OAB include frequency, urgency and nocturia (with or without urge incontinence).
  • Urodynamic testing is not always indicated but may be useful for women who have symptoms of both stress incontinence and OAB.
  • Nurse continence advisors and continence physiotherapists provide bladder training services.
  • Treatment with bladder training and anticholinergic drug therapy is readily achieved in the general practice setting.