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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.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your urine is pink, or you notice blood in your urine.
  • You have pain with urination.
  • You continue to have symptoms even after you take your medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Self-care:

  • 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.
  • Limit liquids as directed. This may help decrease the amount you urinate. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Avoid liquids several hours before you go to sleep. 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 or her 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.

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be given to relax your bladder and decrease urination.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

If you keep a urination log, take it with you to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Overactive Bladder (Ambulatory Care)

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Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.