An overactive bladder is a situation in which the muscles of the bladder contract in such a way that the individual experiences an urgent need to urinate repeatedly during the course of the day. While the contractions can take place whether or not the bladder is filling, when contractions take place while the bladder is near full capacity, incontinence may also result. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with an overactive bladder and alleviate the suffering and embarrassment caused by the condition.
While an active bladder that is functioning normally will contract when a full bladder is achieved, there is typically little to no effort required to control the process of urination. This makes it possible for someone with a full bladder to visit a restroom without experiencing a great deal of urgency. With an overactive bladder, there is usually a sense of being about to lose control, a state that can cause a great deal of anxiety and increase the rate and the strength of the contractions.
One of the most basic ways to treat an overactive bladder involves pelvic exercises coupled with bladder training. The pelvic exercises are designed to strengthen the groups of muscles that help to control the process of urination. Kegel exercises are considered excellent for developing more reliable bladder control. Since Kegels can be performed discreetly, anyone with an overactive bladder can perform sets of the exercise while sitting at a desk, watching television or even when reclining on a sofa or bed.
To complement the pelvic exercises, a systematic bladder training regimen is sometimes considered useful. This involves fighting the urge to give in to the frequent urination impulse and only urinate at specific times during the day. Sometimes referred to as scheduled voiding, this is an attempt to recondition the mind’s response to the contractions and regain control of the health issue. As the mind exerts influence over the function of the bladder, the contractions become easier to deal with and sometimes diminish entirely.
Along with exercises and retraining the mind and bladder, many people turn to modern medicine for assistance. When an individual finds he or she experiences the urge to urinate in excess of eight times a day, there is definitely one or more bladder problems taking place. A complete physical can help determine if there are any illnesses present that are interfering with the normal function of the bladder. If so, there are a number of medications that can be used to treat an overactive bladder. Some of these medications are formulated to deal with a relatively mild and usually short-term bladder issue. Other medications are intended for long-term use.
Herbs are sometimes helpful in dealing with an overactive bladder. Cayenne, found in many hot peppers, can sometimes help to desensitize the nerves in the bladder and ease the frequency and strength of the contractions. Peach bark, chamomile, and ginger root may also help with any infections that contribute to the activity of an overactive bladder. Before combining the use of herbs along with prescription medication, it is important to consult a physician, as there could be a negative interaction.