Bladder 101: 5 Tips for Controlling OAB
Many women believe that drinking less water will ease their urgency. On the contrary, says Newman: Adequate fluid intake helps eliminate bladder irritants and can actually prevent the urgency or frequency of OAB. Drink throughout the day, and stop three to four hours before bedtime.
Do 30 Kegels Twice a Day
This simple move strengthens the pelvic muscles around the bladder. Best done after you've gone to the bathroom, Kegel exercises can be performed anytime, anywhere. To identify the right muscles, squeeze as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine (without tensing your thigh or stomach muscles). Once you know where to flex, tighten these muscles for 10 seconds, then release and relax for 10 seconds.
Eliminate Possible Irritants
One at a time, try reducing your intake of chocolate, cocoa, coffee (sadly, with OAB it can be a problem), tea, soda, alcohol, spicy foods, highly acidic foods (like citrus fruits and juices and tomato-based products), and anything containing aspartame-based sweeteners.
Keep a Diary for 3 Days
Track how frequently you empty your bladder to help your urologist diagnose your condition as well as identify symptoms and potential dietary irritants. Record what, how much, and when you eat and drink. Write down when you go. Note any incontinence episodes.
Consider Drug Therapy
If after all this you're still uncomfortable straying too far from the facilities, you may want to discuss medication with your doctor. Certain drugs can relax the muscle that triggers bladder contractions, and can reduce symptoms significantly within weeks.