Overactive Bladder - Topic Overview
Your doctor probably will
also do a few tests, such as:
You may have more tests if your doctor thinks your symptoms
could be caused by other problems, such as
How is it treated?
The first step in treatment will be to try
some things at home, such as urinating at scheduled times.
This is called bladder retraining.
You can also do special exercises called
Kegels to make your pelvic muscles stronger. These
muscles control the flow of urine. Doing these exercises can improve some
bladder problems. It may help to work with a
physical therapist who has special training in pelvic
There are other changes you can make that can
- Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee, tea, and sodas.
- If it bothers you to get up at night to urinate, cut down on
fluids before bed. But don't cut down on fluids at other times of the day. You
need them to stay healthy.
- At night, if you have trouble getting to the toilet in time,
clear a path from your bed to the bathroom. Or you could put a portable toilet
by your bed.
Acupuncture may help with overactive bladder. It has been shown to help some women as much as medicine.1
If your symptoms really bother you or affect your quality of life, your doctor may suggest that you try medicine along with bladder training and exercises. Medicines are used most often to help control overactive bladder. These medicines do have some annoying side effects like dry mouth and constipation. Because of this, a lot of people don't like to take them. You may decide that bladder training and exercises control your overactive bladder enough. Medicines used to treat overactive bladder are the same for men and women.
If you have severe overactive bladder or severe urge incontinence that hasn't been controlled by exercises or medicine, you may be able to try other treatments. These include Botox injections or electrical stimulation. But these treatments aren't usually tried unless other treatments haven't worked.