WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Consumer Care, the makers of OXYTROL FOR WOMEN, announced today that the more than 20 million women suffering from overactive bladder (OAB) can now gain better control of their condition with a visit to the feminine care aisle at their local retailer. OXYTROL FOR WOMEN is a thin, flexible patch that is discreetly applied to the abdomen, hip or buttock once every four days for the relief of overactive bladder in women. It is the first and only over-the-counter option that treats the OAB symptoms – urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency – which can take a physical and emotional toll on women. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/62917-merck-consumer-care-oxytrol-for-women (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130925/MM78021) OAB is one of the top ten chronic conditions affecting American women, impacting various facets of their lives – such as travel, work productivity, emotional and physical wellbeing as well as family relationships and social activities. In fact, more than one in three women (37 percent) with OAB reported that the condition affects their relationship with their partner and nearly half said they are worried about having a urinary accident in public (55 percent) or in the car (48 percent). In addition, recent data demonstrate the overall economic impact is estimated at $35 billion annually – both direct and indirect costs such as doctor visits, prescription medications and coping strategies like using pantiliners and pads, among others. "It's important for women to have access to a prescription-strength OTC option like OXYTROL FOR WOMEN because it offers them a convenient and cost-effective way to help manage their condition," said Eman Elkadry, M.D., Clinical Instructor Harvard Medical School; Boston Urogynecology Associates at Mount Auburn Hospital and spokesperson for the makers of OXYTROL FOR WOMEN. "Women who suffer from OAB wait on average more than three years before seeking care – that's why I've been an advocate for giving women an OTC choice so they can treat their symptoms and better manage their health." With an OTC option in hand and a lifestyle modification plan, female OAB sufferers can gain better control over OAB symptoms. By applying one patch every four days as directed, OXYTROL FOR WOMEN can provide women OAB symptom relief within two weeks when combined with daily lifestyle changes. These modifications include following a daily bathroom schedule, managing fluid intake and strengthening bladder muscles. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help, as excess weight can increase the pressure on the bladder and make OAB worse. The OXYTROL FOR WOMEN patch can be worn during everyday activities, including showering or exercising.