6 Strategies for Managing an Overactive Bladder

By Claire Gillespie
Reviewed by Daniel Lew, M.D.
January 09, 2023

Treatments for overactive bladder (OAB) can include medical and surgical options, but there are also a number of nonmedical strategies for OAB management that doctors recommend and that women say have worked for them. Certain lifestyle changes may also help reduce those frequent, sudden urges to urinate that characterize the condition.

“Overactive bladder describes urgency of urination, frequency (typically, voiding more than eight times in 24 hours, or more than you used to), and sometimes leakage of urine on the way to the bathroom,” says Patricia A. Wallace, M.D., a board-certified female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeon at Providence Mission Hospital in Orange County, California.

If you’ve been diagnosed with OAB, you may be feeling unsure about the best way forward. But information is power. Talk to your doctor and to other women who have experienced similar things. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist as needed, and women who have experienced OAB may be able to offer ideas, too. The more strategies you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to find something that helps mitigate your symptoms.