Getting My Overactive Bladder Under Control… Naturally

I remember hatching a plan to make it through my own wedding without having to interrupt the priest so I could dash to the bathroom. I stopped drinking any form of liquid 20 hours prior to the big event. That’s not weird, right? 

Wrong.

People need water, lots of it, every single day. But drinking that much water is difficult for overactive bladder sufferers like me. So I finally decided to see a urologist. Because I was tired of it. Tired of aggravating theater patrons to climb over their legs before intermission. Tired of pulling the car over during daily errands. Tired of literally losing sleep.

The physician prescribed numerous medications whose results were utterly disappointing. Not only did they elicit obnoxious side effects, they didn’t even work. So I elected to take matters into my own hands … with a little experiment. 

Could I get my overactive bladder under control all by myself?

The training seemed simple. After waking, urinate every hour on the hour. If I have to go in between, try to hold out to the hour if possible. After week one, adjust the schedule to an hour and fifteen minutes. After week two, move to 90 minutes. Modify those numbers if necessary. Keep elongating the intervals until I reach the “normal” three to four hour span. 

This frequent, scheduled evacuation is supposed to train my bladder gradually to cease with the urgent reminders. It actually tackles all four symptoms.Fortunately, I’m only plagued with three, but I didn’t want to wait for incontinence to rear its soggy head.

How did it go?

After a number of false starts and rookie mistakes, I’m five weeks in and up to two hour spans (my personal best being two hours, 13 minutes). I’m not sure I’ll ever get much higher but I’ve definitely seen progress.

Interested in Trying It? Remember These Tips:

  1. Use a timer 
    No matter how obvious it seems, you WILL forget to urinate on schedule. Set a timer and keep it handy. Don’t be surprised when it sounds during a business meeting, church, etc. 
  2. Avoid irritants 
    Coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, etc. can all make matters worse. For best results, nurture a love of water or cranberry juice.
  3. Be patient.
    For some, results can come as quickly as two weeks. For others, it could be six. Remember, any improvement that enriches your quality of life is a good thing. 

4 Overactive Bladder Symptoms:

• Urgency
• Frequency (8+ times daily)
• Incontinence
• Nocturnia (waking 2+ times nightly)

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