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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Tips for Dealing With Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Here's help coping better with your overactive bladder.

12 Tips on OAB Treatment


  1. Is your OAB medication leaving you with a dry mouth? Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage.
  2. Women: Vaginal weight training can help prevent leaks. Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the muscles. Do them twice daily for 15 minutes, for four to six weeks.
  3. Looking for a doctor to help you manage OAB? Urologists specialize in treating bladder and urinary issues.
  4. Menopause can play a role in contributing to OAB. Some women find relief with estrogen administered vaginally. Talk to your doctor.
  5. Mild electrical pulses (called pelvic floor electrical stimulation), can stimulate muscle contractions, helping you control OAB symptoms. Do them in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
  6. Smoking can aggravate your bladder. If you smoke, try quitting. Your health care provider can help with suggestions on how.
  7. On rare occasions, surgery may help a woman with overactive bladder. Discuss with your health care provider whether the ";sling procedure"; or other surgery is right for you.
  8. Kegel exercises help strengthen pelvic muscles. Tighten the muscles that control urination for three to five seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions.
  9. Biofeedback can help you gain awareness of your pelvic muscles and reduce OAB symptoms. Talk with your health care provider to learn more.
  10. Don't give up those Kegel exercises! It may take eight weeks before you notice improvement. And Kegels can really improve -- even prevent -- OAB.
  11. OAB isn't a normal part of aging, despite what friends or family may say. Talk with your health care provider, and get help for OAB -- today.

Between lifestyle changes, exercises, medication and perhaps even surgery, you can manage -- or even prevent -- overactive bladder symptoms. Your health care providers can help you discover the treatments best for you.

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12 Tips for OAB and Diet


  1. If you have OAB, it's important to enjoy a fiber-rich diet to avoid complications like constipation.
  2. Sometimes extra weight can lead to overactive bladder. Talk with your health care provider to learn if this might be the cause of your OAB.
  3. Some medications -- especially those with caffeine or diuretics in them -- can worsen OAB. Consult with your doctor to know for sure.
  4. Chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola -- food and drinks with caffeine -- can make your OAB symptoms worse. Try cutting back.
  5. OAB can be very stressful at times. Don't go it alone: Talk to your health care team, get treatment, and find support.
  6. Some medications, like prescription diuretics, sedatives, and antidepressants, can lead to OAB symptoms. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.
  7. Use waiting time to manage OAB: Kegel exercises can improve, and even prevent, overactive bladder symptoms. Perform them 30 to 80 times daily for four to six weeks.
  8. Pelvic muscle rehabilitation (there are several styles) can improve pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage. Talk to you doctor or look online to learn more.
  9. Did you know smoking can irritate your bladder? This may be the motivation you need to quit at last!
  10. Is your over-the-counter allergy medicine aggravating your OAB symptoms? Discuss the possibilities with your doctor.
  11. Never stop taking a medication because you think it might be aggravating your OAB. Talk with your doctor to know for sure -- there could be other causes.
  12. Don't let embarrassment keep you from talking to your doctor about OAB, a condition that affects millions of Americans -- of all ages.

Overactive bladder can be triggered, or irritated, by many things, from medications to a simple cola. It's a great idea to work with your health care provider to learn which diet and lifestyle changes will help you best manage your OAB symptoms.

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