Prevention

Best Ways to Fight OAB Urges

Jessica McKinney, PT Jul 30th, 2014 (updated Apr 1st, 2016)
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When you have overactive bladder (OAB), the urge to go is intense and frequent. Here are some tips and tricks to help combat your symptoms.

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Drink throughout the day
Drink throughout the day

How much you drink matters. Aim for sipping on drinks throughout the day.  Drinking a lot first thing in the morning and then not much until late in the afternoon can aggravate a sensitive bladder.

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When the urge hits, breathe
When the urge hits, breathe

Urgency can feel like a panic attack of the bladder. Calm it down with slow and deliberate breathing.

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Squeeze your pelvic floor
Squeeze your pelvic floor

Contracting the pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) in response to a strong urge can be very helpful in gaining control and diminishing urge.

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Relax
Relax

A PFM contraction is counterproductive in the case of an overly tight PFM group, which is common with OAB. The alternative is the pelvic floor drop, a letting go of the PFMs. It is facilitated by inhalation and resembles the feeling of “ahhhh…” when one sits down to void (and one is not in a state of urgency). 

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Choose a hobby
Choose a hobby

Pick your pleasure, here – just something to be a distraction!  It can be balancing a checkbook or playing words with friends, but having activities at the ready to turn to when an urge strikes can be very helpful to dampen out-of-control bladder urges.

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Set your watch
Set your watch

Bladder retraining, also known as "timed voiding," is a strategy that requires (among other things) for you to go by the clock – regardless of strength or absence of urge. 

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Yoga pose: Happy Baby
Yoga pose: Happy Baby

Lie on your back and position the feet together and knees wide. Breathe and hold for 10-15 breaths. This is a position of pelvic opening (and is a great compliment to the pelvic floor dropping described earlier).