How To Treat An Overactive Bladder?

If you are suffering from involuntary bladder contractions or overactive bladder, which is making you run to the toilet several times a day, then you should get it treated immediately. For treating the condition, your urologist will generally suggest you get some diagnostic tests that will help them identify the root cause of untimely bladder contractions, which are causing urine incontinence. The appropriate treatment will be initiated once the exact cause is known.

Diagnostic tests

To perform the proper diagnosis and treatment, your urologist will recommend you get some tests done. These tests will reveal the true cause of involuntary bladder contractions that are causing urine to leak unusually. They will check your medical history, conduct a physical examination, order urine samples, and suggest some neurological examinations.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, your urologist will check for bladder abnormalities. They will do an assessment of your bladder function and how much time it takes to excrete the urine. These tests are called urodynamic tests and they include:

Measurement of urine flow rate – The measurement will be done with the help of a uroflowmetry test.To do so, you will be asked to urinate inside a device called a uroflowmeter. This device indicates the flow rate and generates the data in the form of a graph.It measures the amount and speed with which you empty the bladder. Also, it will check for any obstruction that is affecting the flow of urine.

Measurement of the volume of urine left in the bladder – This test checks the ability of your bladder, whether it becomes empty after passing urine,or if there is still some urine residue in it. To check for the same, the doctor will ask you to get an ultrasound scan, which will check if some urine is still left in the bladder after evacuation. It will help in finding out the amount of residual urine.

Cystometry tests – These tests measure the pressure exerted on the bladder muscles when the bladder gets filled by urine. It involves the insertion of thin tubes, called catheters, inside the bladder. One catheter is used to fill the bladder with some liquid while another tube has a pressure-measuring sensor attached to it, which measures the amount of pressure your bladder must exert to empty itself completely.

Based on the test reports, your doctor will suggest some appropriate combination of treatments to restore normal bladder function.


The involuntary contractions of your bladder can be managed with the help of a combination of treatments that can be conducted through medical assistance, and some can be performed at home. According to the Mayo Clinic, the treatments include:

Behavioral therapies

These include lifestyle modifications such as pelvic floor muscle training, bladder training, fitness healthy weight, and several clinical interventions. These are safe practices that do not have any side effects. Let us understand them in detail.

  • Kegels – Kegels are pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises. These exercises are highly beneficial for people experiencing urine incontinence due to involuntary bladder movements. Kegels help in gaining better control over urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems.

Performing these exercises regularly will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, uterus, small intestine, and rectum.

  • Weight –Overweight individuals are more likely to experience problems with their bladder function. Obesity and excessive weight gain around the abdominal region exert too much pressure on the pelvic region. This exertion of excessive pressure might lead to the damage of organs present in the pelvic region. So, to prevent it, one must keep their weight in check.
  • Biofeedback – This technique involves the use of electrical sensors that help you learn to have better control over your pelvic floor muscles to avoid urine leakage. 
  • Intermittent catheterization – This is done under medical supervision. If the bladder is unable to evacuate the urine, the catheter can help in doing so.

Bladder injections

Some kind of protein will be injected right into the bladder tissues, which helps in relaxing the bladder muscles. This might relieve the urine incontinence problem for a while, usually up to 6 months, after that, one has to take the injections again.


Your healthcare provider will prescribe you certain medications that can alleviate your bladder problems and relieve the symptoms of urinary incontinence. These medications might produce some mild side effects, so you need to become aware of those by talking to your healthcare provider.

Nerve stimulation

This technique involves the insertion of a thin wire inside the sacral nerves through an implantation procedure. The wire helps regulate the nerve impulses of your bladder and manage its involuntary contractions.


For individuals who fail to respond to all kinds of treatments done to improve their bladder function, surgery is the last option. This might involve performing surgery on the bladder to increase its capacity or another way is to surgically construct a replacement bladder.

After assessing the cause of your bladder problems, your healthcare provider will suggest some treatment in combination with some positive lifestyle changes.


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