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Lower urinary tract symptoms: Overactive bladder syndrome

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Women with an overactive bladder may pass urine very often in order to avoid incontinence

Many women experience lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and although these can affect quality of life, only a minority of women seek help.1 This article, one of a series, explores diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) in primary care.

It aims to enable readers to recognise, investigate and whenever possible address OAB in women. It also aims to enable readers to recognise red flag symptoms and to act upon these. A stepwise approach is normally utilised. This article outlines the role of the nurse with this framework and explains when onward referral is appropriate.

Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) and urge incontinence

OAB has been defined as: ‘urgency, with or without urgency incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia.’2


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