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Overactive Bladder, Ambulatory Care

Overactive bladder

is a sudden urge to urinate that is difficult for you to control. It occurs when the muscles of the bladder contract (tighten) more than normal. This causes a frequent or sudden need to urinate. You usually have to urinate more than 8 times in 24 hours. You may need to get up more than once in the middle of the night to urinate. You may also leak urine before you are able to make it to the bathroom.

Contact your healthcare provider for any of the following:

  • Pink or bloody urine
  • Painful urination
  • Continued symptoms even after treatment
  • Questions or concerns about your condition or care

Manage your symptoms:

  • Limit liquids as directed. Limit liquids to decrease the amount you urinate. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to avoid drinking liquids several hours before you go to sleep. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh and about the best exercise plan for you. Extra weight puts pressure on your bladder and may make your symptoms worse. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
  • Do pelvic muscle exercises often. Your pelvic muscles help you stop urinating. Squeeze these muscles tightly for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Gradually work up to squeezing for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions a day, or as directed. This will help strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
  • Train your bladder. Go to the bathroom at set times, such as every 2 hours, even if you do not feel the urge to go. You can also try to hold your urine when you feel the urge to go. For example, hold your urine for 5 minutes when you feel the urge to go. As that becomes easier, hold your urine for 10 minutes. Work up to every 3 or 4 hours to help control your bladder.

Treatment for overactive bladder

may be needed if other methods are not working:

  • Medicines may be given to relax your bladder and decrease urination.
  • Sacral nerve stimulation sends electrical signals to your sacral nerve through a small device implanted under your skin. Your sacral nerve controls your bladder, sphincter, and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Surgery may be done if all other treatments cannot help you control your bladder.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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