Five Tips for Easing An Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can impact your everyday routine. The National Association for Continence estimates 33 million people in the United States have an overactive bladder (OAB)—the sudden and frequent urge to urinate. Overactive bladder is also more common in women than men. If you are dealing with an overactive bladder, there are multiple treatment options including behavioral interventions, medications and surgery.
What can I do to ease my bladder?
To get you back into your old routine, PIH Health Obstetrics and Gynecologist physician Peter Roca MD suggests these four tips:
- Practice bladder training. One of the most common treatment options is waiting and controlling the urge to go. Start by delaying the urge a few minutes then gradually increase your hold time. Eventually you might be able to schedule when and how often you go to the bathroom.
- Limit foods and drinks that might irritate your bladder. Substances to look out for include: chocolate; caffeine; citrus juice and fruit; carbonated drinks; and milk among others.
- Watch your fluid intake. Not enough fluids in your body concentrate your urine and can irritate the lining of your bladder, which will increase the urge to go. Ask your doctor what your daily fluid intake amount should be.
- Pelvic floor exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that control urination and can help you stop your bladder’s involuntary contractions; however, consult an Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist first.
- Medications and behavioral techniques. If the symptoms of the overactive bladder have not been controlled with the above recommendations, medications are available to treat it. Alternatives to medications are techniques and neuromodulation: Posterior tibial nerve stimulation. These techniques have been very helpful on patients that don't tolerate medications or where medications are not effective. Botox injected into the bladder is another available treatment. In general, OAB is not treated with surgery.
Where can I learn more?
If you have persistent bladder issues, PIH Health Women’s Health Services offer advanced treatment options to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 562.789.5464.