Overactive Bladder

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Overactive bladder treatment

Treatment15 for overactive bladder often involves several different approaches, ranging from changes in behavior to drug therapy.

Behavioral interventions are often the first approach to managing the signs and symptoms of an overactive bladder. These include:

  • Kegel exercises: These exercises strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor and the urinary sphincter. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent the bladder from contracting involuntarily.
  • Bladder training: Bladder training requires the ability to contract the pelvic floor muscles, so it may be beneficial to begin kegel exercises beforehand. This involves delaying urination by small increments each time you feel the need to urinate. You may begin by waiting 30 minutes to urinate, working up to three or four hour-long delays.
  • Scheduled toilet use: Setting a schedule for urinating every few hours can help get you used to urinating at set times, rather than going every time you feel the need to urinate.
  • Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight: Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help ease the symptoms of OAB and possibly alleviate stress incontinence, which occurs when physical movement or activity like coughing or sneezing put pressure on the bladder.
  • Protective garments: Wearing absorbent pads or undergarments can help provide backup in case leakage occurs.
  • Catheterization: Periodically using a catheter to empty your bladder can be helpful when it cannot completely empty itself. Check with your healthcare provider first to see whether this is a good option for you.

Medication may also be used to treat overactive bladder. The most commonly prescribed medications for OAB are anticholinergics,16 which block certain nerve impulses and relax the bladder.

Overactive bladder medication

Your provider may prescribe the following medications for overactive bladder:

May be prescribed

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.