Only one-quarter of people 45 and older see a doctor for overactive bladder (OAB); the rest often suffer silently—and needlessly.

If you suspect you have OAB, speaking up can change your life. Have an honest talk with your doctor about your concerns, symptoms and lifestyle. To ease your discussion, here's a handy list of topics you'll want to bring up and information you'll want to share.

Tell Your Doctor

Print this page and fill in the blanks or check the proper responses to the statements below:

I delivered one or more babies __________ months/years ago.

I entered menopause ____________ months/years ago.

The following symptoms concern me (urgency, frequency, bladder leaks):

- - -

I first had symptoms ______ weeks/months/years ago.

In a typical day, I feel like I won't make it to the bathroom without an accident __________ times.

When I laugh, cough, sneeze, run or lift something, I experience symptoms.

- Yes

- No

I drink ___________ amount of liquids in a typical day and ______________ amount of alcohol a week.

I smoke.

- Yes

- No

My symptoms affect my ability to exercise.

- Yes

- No

I'm doing the following to cope with my condition:

  • Using incontinence products, such as pads
  • Practicing Kegel exercises
  • Reducing fluid intake
  • Reducing sexual intimacy
  • Avoiding travel
  • Staying close to bathrooms at all times
  • I've tried ___________________ treatment, but stopped because ________________________________________.

    Medications (Rx and OTC) and supplements I take:

    __________________________ Dosage: ______________

    __________________________ Dosage: ______________

    __________________________ Dosage: ______________

    __________________________ Dosage: ______________

    Ask Your Doctor

    During your appointment, you may want to ask your doctor some of the questions below. We've left space for you to jot down other questions you may have as well.

    What's Wrong?

    • What do you think might be wrong with me?
    • How will you determine exactly what's causing my problems?
    • Will I need to have any special tests?
    • If so, what are they?
    • Will you perform these tests or do I need to go somewhere else for them?
    • Are there any risks involved?
    • Will I have to make any special preparations for these tests?

    How Can We Treat It?

    • If you have a good idea what my problem is, what treatment do you recommend?
    • Will medication help me?
    • If so, what kind?
    • How soon will the recommended treatment work?
    • Does it always work?
    • Are there any side effects I should know about?
    • What can we do if the treatment doesn't work?
    • When can I come back to see you for a follow-up?
    • <./ul>

      Jot down other questions you want to ask:

      Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

      Published: 17 Mar 2011

      Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015