An overactive bladder (also known as urge incontinence) causes a sudden urge to urinate, even when your bladder isn’t full. For some people it’s simply a nuisance, while for others, the urge can’t be controlled, which can lead to incontinence. Treatment choices for urinary incontinence range from lifestyle changes to surgery. Your treatment will depend on your lifestyle and the underlying problems causing the incontinence. It’s important to know that there are several non-surgical treatment options including pills available for the treatment of urge incontinence.
-pelvic floor exercises, called Kegel’s
-retraining your bladder.
-losing belly fat,
-cutting back on caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners
It’s also important to know that YOU might be teaching your bladder some bad habits—habits that can gradually result in incontinence or frequent bathroom breaks. For example, if you routinely urinate before your bladder is full, it learns to signal the need to go when your bladder isn’t really full. That can set up a vicious cycle, as you respond to the new urges and teach your bladder to cry “run” when less and less urine is present. Luckily, old bladders can learn new tricks. Bladder training, a program of urinating on schedule, enables you to gradually increase the amount of urine you can comfortably hold.
- Keep track. For a day or two, keep track of the times you urinate or leak urine during the day.
- Calculate. On average, how many hours do you wait between visits to the bathroom during the day?
- Choose an interval. Based on your typical interval between needing to urinate, set your starting interval for training that is 15 minutes longer. So, if you usually make it for one hour before you need to use the bathroom, make your starting interval one hour and 15 minutes.
- Hold back. On the day you start your training, empty your bladder first thing in the morning and don’t go again until you reach your target time interval. If the time arrives before you feel the urge, go anyway. If the urge hits first, remind yourself that your bladder isn’t really full, and use whatever techniques you can to delay going. Try the pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegels), or simply try to wait another five minutes before walking slowly to the bathroom.
- Increase your interval. Once you are successful with your initial interval, increase it by 15 minutes. Over several weeks or months, you may find you are able to wait much longer and that feel the urge less often. After four to eight weeks, if you think you have improved, do another diary. Compare your initial diary to your second diary to note the improvements in voiding intervals and voided volumes—this process reinforces the bladder training process.