Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Font Size

OAB: When You Have an Accident

How to take control of your overactive bladder and reduce the chance of accidents.

4. Carry Extra Clothes.

An extra set of clothes at work or in the car are an obvious must if you have had -- or fear you'll have -- OAB accidents.

Include a large, waterproof storage bag for your wet clothes, too. And to help cope with accidents, some people get in the habit of carrying or wearing long coats or favor darker colors.

5. Stay Sensibly Hydrated.

It seems so simple: Drink less and you'll have fewer OAB accidents. Yet that's not how your body really works.

Drink too little and you can end up with urethra and bladder irritation, constipation, concentrated urine (which has a stronger smell, if accidents do occur), or even an infection.

So how much should you drink daily? There's no one right amount for everyone, but aim for about 6 cups (about one and a half liters) of liquids per day.

If you have accidents at night, stop drinking fluids 2-4 hours before bed.

6. Watch Out for Bladder-Irritating Foods and Drinks

Lots of things -- including caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods and drinks, sweeteners, hot spices, and fizzy drinks -- can irritate your bladder. Although many foods and drinks can make OAB symptoms worse, you don't necessarily have to avoid all of them.

Instead, take the time to discover exactly what triggers your OAB. Is it the acids of citrus and tomatoes? The lactic acid in dairy products like aged cheese, yogurt, or sour cream? Or is it the caffeine in dark chocolates, sodas, tea, and coffee?

Start by excluding a food or drink you think may be aggravating your symptoms, then add small amounts back to your diet slowly.

7. Make Simple Changes.

You don't need to completely overhaul your life to get a handle on overactive bladder symptoms and avoid accidents. Simple changes may be all you need to prevent most mishaps, including:

  • At home, keep the path to the bathroom clear (and light the path at night, if you need to). You might even consider removing the bathroom door.
  • Wear easy-to-open clothes.
  • Empty your bladder before bed, a big meeting, or a trip.

Today on WebMD

Incontinence Women Slideshow
leaking faucet
Public restroom door sign
nachos and beer
woman holding water
Food That Makes You Gotta Go
Male Incontinence Slideshow
Mature woman standing among peers
Worried in bed
woman standing in front of restroom sign
various pills
sitting in chair