Skip to content

Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Bladder Spasms

Font Size
A
A
A

Other Causes of Bladder Spasms

Some medications may cause bladder spasms as a side effect. Medications that commonly cause bladder spasms include:

  • Bethanechol (urecholine)  
  • A chemotherapy drug called valrubicin (Valstar)
  • Medicines called diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix) or hydrochlorothiazide, which help the body remove excess water

What you eat or drink can sometimes bother a fragile bladder and cause it to go into a spasm. This is especially true in patients who have a condition called interstitial cystitis.

Spicy, acidic, or citrusy foods and the chemicals in certain preservatives and food additives may irritate the lining of the bladder in some people. Such products may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits and drinks, such as oranges and orange juice
  • Pickled foods
  • Tomatoes

 

Treatment of Bladder Spasms

How your doctor treats your bladder spasms depends on what exactly is causing your painful symptoms. But in general, therapy may involve one or more of the following treatments. A combination of treatments often works best.

Change in diet. This may help prevent bladder pain if certain foods and beverages are the culprit behind your spasms. Keeping a food diary, which tracks your meals and your symptoms, can be helpful.

Timed voiding. This involves timed trips to the bathroom to urinate, usually every 1.5 to 2 hours. Timed voiding is especially helpful for children. As the bladder spasms get better and fewer wetting accidents occur, you can extend the time between trips to the bathroom.

Pelvic floor exercises ("Kegels"). Kegels and other forms of physical therapy help strengthen and relax the bladder and other muscles that help the body hold in urine. Kegels, combined with biofeedback, are often a good way to help reduce bladder spasms in children. To tighten your pelvic muscles, squeeze your muscles in the same way as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or prevent yourself from passing gas. Kegel exercises take practice, and tightening the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder. Ask your doctor for specific instructions.

Today on WebMD

Incontinence Women Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
exam room
Slideshow
 
Public restroom door sign
Slideshow
nachos and beer
Article
 
woman holding water
Slideshow
Food That Makes You Gotta Go
Slideshow
 
Male Incontinence Slideshow
Slideshow
sleepless woman
Article
 
Worried in bed
Article
woman standing in front of restroom sign
Slideshow
 
woman reading medicine bottle
Quiz
Woman on riverbank in autumn
Slideshow