To diagnose an Overactive Bladder (OAB), your doctor will likely ask you questions about your medical history and give you a physical exam and at least one test. Your doctor will probably request a urine sample for testing, and may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. Read more about the symptoms of OAB.

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Questions your doctor may ask about your Overactive Bladder include

How often do you have a strong, sudden urge to urinate that makes you fear you will leak urine in case you can’t get to the bathroom immediately?

Options: Not at all-0, Occasionally-1, About once a day-2, About 3 times a day-3, Half the time-4, Almost always: 5.

How often do you leak urine after feeling a strong urge to go? (whether you wear pads/protection or not)

Options: Same as the above.

How much urine do you think really leaks?(whether you wear pads/protection or not)

Options: None: 0 drops, 1 drop, 1 teaspoon: 2 drops, 1 tablespoon: 3 drops, ¼ cup: 4 drops, Entire bladder: 5 drops.

How often do you urinate during the day?

Options: 1-6 times :0, 7-8 times: 1, 9-10 times: 2, 11-12 times: 3, 13-14 times: 4, 15 or more times: 5.

How many times in the night do you get up to urinate, until you are up in the morning?

Options: None-1, 1 time-1, 2 times-2, 3 times-3, 4 times-4, 5 times or more-5.

Now the doctor will add scores from questions, and then analyze the data as follows:

0 = no symptoms

5= most severe symptoms.

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Depending upon your score, your doctor will move on to the next set of questions, which includes:

  • How often do you urinate?
  • How often do you leak urine, and how severely?
  • Do you feel any pain or discomfort while urinating?
  • For how long has the urge or urinary incontinence been occurring?
  • Do you use incontinence pads, and if so, how many per day?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • Have you had any recent surgery or illnesses?

Note: Note that even when you have mild symptoms of overactive bladder, you and your healthcare provider can discuss and provide suitable treatment and thus help you to deal with them better.

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What Next:

Patient History

How do you feel now, how long have you had the symptoms ?

 What are the medicines you take, prescribed or over-the-counter drugs?

  What is your diet, what you eat and drink during the day?

Physical Exam

The doctor will look for the things that could be causing the symptoms, he will also feel the organs in and below your belly.that could include a pelvic and rectal exam.

Order Tests that could be needed:

The tests that could be included would be a urine test ( to to make sure you do not have urine infection or any other problem in the urine).

Suggest you keep a Bladder Diary:

A bladder diary would help you and your healthcare provider learn about your events and patterns of your urine trend. How often you need to go to the bathroom, your urgency in urination, urine leakage.

Generally, a diagnosis of overactive bladder takes only one doctor’s visit. Your doctor will use the tests to determine what is causing overactive bladder and help determine the best course of treatment.