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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Mistakes People With OAB Make

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Don't: Skip your exercises or bladder diary.

Doctors often suggest keeping a written diary, either to help identify triggers for your OAB or to help retrain your bladder. People tend to start keeping track well. Then, they'll forget to write things down. Or, like with pelvic-strengthening exercises, they decide it's too much work and stop altogether.

Perhaps what the doctor said made sense at the office, but now you're not sure what they told you to do. How long are you supposed to squeeze when you're doing your Kegels? Were you supposed to go or not go when you felt the urge? And what are you supposed to be writing down?

For you to get a handle on your OAB, you'll need to follow your doctor's instructions and stick with it. If you're confused, call your doctor. If you need help setting up your diary, the National Association for Continence has blank bladder diaries in the "Educational Brochures" section on their web site.

Don't: Drink less water.

Cutting way back on how much water you drink is another common mistake. While fewer drinks with caffeine and alcohol will help OAB symptoms, drinking less water can have the opposite effect.

Yes, your body will make less urine, but that urine will be very concentrated, which can irritate your bladder. And that, in turn, will make you want to go more.

You'll know you're drinking enough water when your urine is light yellow or almost colorless.

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Reviewed on August 20, 2013

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