With an overactive bladder, you often feel a strong urge to go, but don’t make it to the bathroom in time. Though bladder control problems are quite common, they can be embarrassing to discuss, even with your physician. Women actually wait an average of six years before they seek help. That’s too long to live with a condition that can be better managed and sometimes cured.

There are some things you may be doing that are actually making your overactive bladder worse. Here are eight ways to help you take control now:

1. Do pelvic muscle exercises every day. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is something simple to do to give you more control over your urine flow. Make Kegels part of your routine. It’s like any other exercise. If you stop, you lose muscle tone and in this case, bladder control, quickly.

2. Don’t go to the bathroom right away. You’re worried about leakage, but try not to run to the bathroom every time you feel like you need to go. Waiting a bit can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to give you better control of your bladder.

3. Limit your caffeine intake. One cup of coffee or tea is all you should have. None if you can do it. Remember chocolate and sodas also contain a fair amount of this stimulant.

4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol causes your body to make more urine and it also stimulates your bladder so you’ll feel the urgeĀ­ a double whammy. This can be especially troublesome overnight, when bladder control may be difficult and affect your sleep.

5. Check all medications that you are taking. Be sure to discuss any side effects you are experiencing with your doctor. Drugs that you take to treat a separate condition can be affecting your overactive bladder.

6. Flavor foods with herbs instead of spices. Spicy foods can stimulate your bladder. Use herbs instead for great for flavor.

7. Limit acidic foods. Orange juice, tomato sauce and other highly acidic foods cause irritation on the lining of your bladder, which stimulates your need to go.

8. Manage your fluid intake and stay hydrated. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important. Urine that is light yellow or colorless indicates that you are well hydrated. Spread out your fluid intake throughout the day. Be aware of fluids in foods like fruits and vegetables.

Living with an overactive bladder can be managed. It doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you like to do. Contact us today to learn how you can take control of your overactive bladder.