Overactive Bladder in Women: an Update for Primary Care Physicians

  • Omar Al Hussein Alawamlh
  • Bashir Al Hussein Al Awamlh
  • Una Lee
  • Richard K. LeeEmail author
Overactive Bladder (U Lee and S Adelstein, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Overactive Bladder


Purpose of Review

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a widely prevalent urinary condition affecting women of all ages, with increasing incidence in advancing age. A primary care provider is likely to encounter a significant proportion of women experiencing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). This review serves primary care physicians as a thorough reference for a common condition causing LUTS in women.

Recent Findings

Most emerging data addressing overactive bladder relates to the different treatment modalities available. The side effect profile of antimuscarinic drugs remains an ongoing concern among OAB patients, especially with recent data linking the use of this class of drugs with Alzheimer’s and future development of dementia. In addition, it was recently demonstrated that individuals taking medications of medium-to-high anticholinergic activity had reduced brain glucose metabolism and increased brain atrophy. Combination treatments seem to be more efficacious than monotherapies, as has been proven when using mirabegron with antimuscarinics. Many studies have also validated the use of neuromodulation as a safe and effective treatment for OAB.


Overactive bladder is a widely prevalent urinary condition affecting women of all ages. It is regarded as multifactorial with several proposed theories to explain its occurrence. Several tests are available to aid in diagnosing OAB. Symptom severity and patient-related factors including patient preferences drive treatment.


Overactive bladder in females Lower urinary tract symptoms Detrusor instability Urinary incontinence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar Al Hussein Alawamlh
    • 1
  • Bashir Al Hussein Al Awamlh
    • 1
  • Una Lee
    • 2
  • Richard K. Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.James Buchanan Brady Foundation, Department of UrologyWeill Cornell Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Section of Urology and Renal TransplantationVirginia Mason Medical CenterSeattleUSA

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