Q&A: Overactive Bladder Treatments

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: General Health, Q&As
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

My doctor wants to put me on medication for overactive bladder and incontinence but I would really prefer a drug-free option. Do you have any suggestions for natural overactive bladder treatments?

Q&A: Overactive Bladder Treatments

Research has shown that weight loss often leads to significant improvements in incontinence. So if you are overweight, consider making a conscious effort to do something about it.

Doing pelvic floor therapy is a particularly helpful overactive bladder treatment. Most commonly known as Kegel exercises, this therapy strengthens your pelvic muscles, especially the pubococcygeus muscle, which in turn strengthens the urethral sphincter and increases support of the urethra and bladder. Kegels are simply voluntary contractions of these muscles.

Both men and women can do Kegels. To identify which muscles to work on, try to stop urinating in midstream. The ones you feel tightening are the muscles you want to exercise. Contract these muscles, hold them for 10 seconds, and relax them for 10 seconds. Do 50 to 200 sets a day for at least six weeks, and for long-term results, make them part of your daily routine.

Finally, consider a course of acupuncture to help treat overactive bladder. Several studies have demonstrated that this ancient Chinese therapy is beneficial as both a stress and  overactive bladder treatment. To find a licensed acupuncturist in your area, visit nccaom.org.

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