9 Tips For Managing An Overactive Bladder

overactive bladder

Also referred to as urge incontinence, an overactive bladder can create uncomfortable and awkward moments. The condition happens when the bladder contracts and the urge to urinate may hit you once you least expect or want it. It may cause discomfort, anxiety, and inconvenience.

The real cause of an overactive bladder is still a mystery. But other factors may trigger the bladder muscle’s involuntary contraction and improper bladder function. Also, overactive bladder can be aggravated by pregnancy, diet, being overweight, age, diuretics, and diabetes.

Although you can use the best bladder control pads to manage an overactive bladder, there are other ways on how to reduce the effects of this condition and these include the following:

Be Active

Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are linked with having an overactive bladder since excess weight may weaken the muscles that support the bladder and may result in leaking.

To avoid this health condition, consider exercises that can strengthen your legs and will increase your heart rate, such as treadmill, bicycle, or elliptical. With an overactive bladder, it’s a great idea to urinate midway through or before your workout session.

Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine

When it comes to bladder health, alcohol and caffeine are something that you should avoid. They make the bladder more reactive that also increases the urge to urinate. If you can’t start a day without drinking a cup of coffee, but you need to drive for a few hours, try to change your routine and drink coffee at your office instead. In this way, you’ll be near to a bathroom once the urge hits.

abstaining from alcohol

If you wake up at night to urinate, don’t drink wine on a weeknight and consider saving it for the weekend. This won’t disrupt your sleep and won’t affect your focus the next day.

Don’t Stress

Overactive bladder and stress go hand in hand, which can be a vicious cycle. For instance, you’re worried and stressed about always having to go in some social situations and your stress will make your overactive bladder worse. Practice stress-relieving habits such as deep breathing, meditation, and listening to soothing music.

Do Kegel Exercises

Pelvic floor training or popularly known as Kegel exercises may help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, reduces incontinence issues, and retrain your bladder muscles.

Your pelvic floor muscles can let you stop urinating midstream. If you want to do a Kegel exercise, make sure to do it at least 10 times daily. The more you work your pelvic muscles, the stronger they’ll get and the less likely you are to have some issues.

Start With Healthy Habits

While not life-threatening or physically harmful, an overactive bladder can limit your social life and work. Plus, it can be embarrassing sometimes.

Thankfully, there are procedures and medications that can help treat overactive bladder, but since most of them are quite expensive, try changing your lifestyle habits instead. For example, avoid eating acidic or spicy foods because they can irritate your bladder’s lining.

Train Your Bladder

Another way to manage an overactive bladder is to train it. Retraining involves emptying your bladder at a certain period of time, depending on your set schedule. You could go every hour. 

Gradually over a certain period of weeks and days, you extend the time between using the bathroom to a few hours. Followed over 6 to 8 weeks, this program needs a lot of determination, but the success rates are good. To know if bladder retraining is good for you, talk with your doctor.

Ensure To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water A Day

If you limit your water intake, it can exacerbate the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Not drinking enough water can dehydrate you, which can cause constipation and more concentrated urine that can irritate your bladder. With this, it can increase your risk of infection and symptoms of overactive bladder.

drinking water

Absorbency Products May Help

Regardless of how fast you can run, there are times that bathrooms can be a little too far. Never let yourself get caught in an embarrassing situation. There’s a variety of products available that are comfortable and discreet.

Some products for overactive bladder are best when it comes to absorbency and won’t be lumpy or leak once they get wet. They reduce contact between your skin and urine as well as help control odor that prevents the development of rashes or some irritation.

Smoking Can Increase The Urge To Urinate

Smoking may irritate the bladder’s lining and can make you cough. Both of these are unhelpful if you suffer from an overactive bladder. It’s a great decision for both overactive bladder reasons and general health reasons to quit smoking.

If you’re having a tough time quitting smoking, work with a healthcare provider, so you can get group support and smoking cessation medications for the best results.


You don’t need to be embarrassed or inconvenienced by the symptoms of an overactive bladder. With the above tips, you can be assured that you’ll be able to manage this condition in the long run. However, if such tips don’t resolve your symptoms, it’s wise to see a doctor for a proper health assessment and to provide you a better treatment.