Defining urge as an uncontrolled micturition explains pathogenesis, informs cure and helps solve the burgeoning OAB crisis

Peter Petros, Jörgen Quaghebeur, Jean Jacques Wyndaele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Parallel with the demographic ageing crisis, is a disabling overactive bladder (OAB) crisis (urgency/frequency/nocturia), 30% prevalence in older women, pathogenesis stated as unknown and, according to some learned societies, incurable. Hypothesis/Aims: To review International Continence Society and Integral System paradigms to test our thesis that OAB per se is not a pathological condition, rather, a prematurely activated uncontrolled micturition; pathogenesis being anatomical damage in a nonlinear feedback control system comprising cortical and peripheral (muscle/ligament) components. Methods: We examined studies from basic science, anatomy, urodynamics, ultrasonic and video xrays, ligament repairs, from which we created a nonlinear binary model of bladder function. We applied a Chaos Theory feedback equation, Xnext = Xc(1 − X) to test our hypothesis against existing concepts and hypotheses for OAB pathogenesis. Results: The bladder has ONLY two modes, EITHER closed OR open (micturition). Closure is reflexly controlled cortically and peripherally: muscles contracting against ligaments stretch the vagina to suppress afferent signals to micturate from urothelial stretch receptors. “OAB” can be caused by anatomical damage anywhere in the model, by childbirth or age-weakened ligaments, which can be repaired to cure all three OAB symptoms. Urodynamic “DO” graphs are interpreted anatomically and by the feedback equation. Conclusion: OAB is in crisis. Our thesis of OAB as an uncontrolled micturition from anatomical defects in the bladder control system provides fresh directions for further development of new treatments, nonsurgical and surgical, to help break the crisis and bring hope and cure to 600 million women sufferers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1292
Number of pages12
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number6
Early online date16 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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