Best Ways to Fight OAB Urges

Patient Expert
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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.


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.


When the urge hits, breathe

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


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.



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).


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.


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.


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).