Overactive Bladder Treatments: 9 Ways to Take Control of Your Bladder

Updated on July 10, 2020

Did you know that over 33 million people in the United States deal with the frustrations that come with having an overactive bladder? This embarrassing condition impacts more women than men.

When you have an overactive bladder, you may end up going to the bathroom too often or even have accidents. While some people have a neurological disorder causing frequent urination, many times the doctor can’t find a specific cause.

Luckily, you have many options to live a more fulfilling life with this condition. Read on to learn about several overactive bladder treatments you can try.

1. Know Which Drinks to Avoid

Did you know that caffeinated drinks and alcohol can cause your body to make more urine and lead to frequent urination issues? Further, they can irritate your bladder and increase the urge to go.

If you tend to drink a lot of soda, coffee, or wine, then try cutting back or eliminating these drinks entirely. You can also avoid drinking these close to bedtime if you find that you need to urinate a lot at night. 

Whatever you try, make sure you still drink a lot of water during the day to avoid dehydration.

2. Bladder Training Exercises

An overactive bladder natural treatment you can try is physical strengthening through Kegal exercises. If successful, this option can help with both urge and frequency issues.

To try it, identify your pelvic muscles and tighten them while staying focused on those muscles. After three seconds, relax for a few seconds before you repeat the process again. Breathe normally while doing this.

For the best results, try to do at least 10 repetitions daily.

3. Watch Your Bowel Habits

Do you deal with frequent constipation? If so, that condition may contribute to your needing to urinate often as the backed-up stool can make your colon press against your bladder.

Try taking steps to eat more fiber through whole grains and veggies and drink more water to deal with your constipation. You can also try stool softeners and laxatives, but you should not use them too often and should seek your doctor’s advice for long-term use.

4. Consider Prescription Medication Options

You can visit your doctor to learn about all the medications available to help with overactive bladder. These range from medications that target the bladder specifically to antidepressant medications that have effects that can potentially help.

One medication to consider is Myrbetriq. It can work within a couple of weeks to make you need to urinate less often and avoid accidents. You can find out more to decide if this is something you’d like to discuss with your doctor.

Antidepressant medications like Tofranil can potentially help as they can relax your bladder. However, you may have the best results if you have bladder issues due to stress.

5. Nerve Stimulation Treatment

With both surgical and non-surgical options available, nerve stimulation treatment can use electrical currents to make your bladder stronger. Usually, your doctor will consider this option after medications and lifestyle changes fail.

One of the non-surgical options involves putting a needle in your ankle for up to 30 minutes during a weekly session. This targets spinal nerves that affect your bladder and can thus relieve symptoms. You may experience mild pain or bruising with this option.

A surgical option involves having a device installed in your spine that will prevent frequent signals to your urinary system. The surgery usually helps for up to five years before you’d need replacement. This option can cause more serious side effects like electrical shock feelings and infections.

6. Try Natural Supplements 

Another one of the home remedies for overactive bladder includes the use of natural supplements that might help reduce inflammation. These include herbs such as capsaicin, horsetail, buchu, and cornsilk. 

Before you decide to try any of these, you’ll want to research and pros and risks. You’ll also want to find out if there’s any potential interaction with a medication you use or another health condition you have.

Keep in mind that research on these supplements is limited, so they may not replace traditional medical treatments.

7. Consider Losing Weight

If you struggle with being overweight or obese, those extra pounds could contribute to bladder leakage and urgency. To take control, you can consider getting down to a healthier weight to reduce the pressure put on your bladder.

You can start by cutting back on your calories and keeping track of the foods you eat. Sticking to filling foods with lots of fiber can help you eat less. 

Also, get as much exercise as you safely can. Even taking a walk or two a day or choosing the stairs over the elevator can make an impact over time.

8. Train Your Bladder

If you have a problem where you feel like you need to urinate often but nothing comes out, bladder training can help. With this method, you avoid going to the bathroom with each urge and instead wait until a specific period of time.

You’ll log your bathroom visits and attempt to wait longer between them over time. Your goal is to wait at least an hour between urination attempts. You’ll do this under a doctor’s guide for the safest and most effective results.

9. Consider Surgery As a Last Resort

Surgery can act as a remedy for frequent urination when the other methods fail. However, your doctor will need to identify first what has caused your frequent urination, and you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of this treatment.

Surgical treatment options range from Botox injections into your bladder to more invasive ones like a bladder sling or catheter installation. Other options include making your bladder or urethra larger or moving the bladder neck upwards.

Learn More About Overactive Bladder Treatments Today

To start dealing with your bladder issues, consider starting with some of the home remedies for overactive bladder such as changing your diet and monitoring your urination habits. You may identify some triggers and behaviors and make changes to get acceptable results on your own.

Even if you do try the natural options, consider scheduling a visit with your doctor to discuss overactive bladder treatments that may work better for you. This will also allow your doctor to determine if there’s a specific cause for your frequent urination.

Whether you seek treatment advice for other health conditions or just want to stay on top of news, our blog seeks to provide patients and health care professionals the latest updates. Check out our other helpful posts today!

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.