For years I’ve suffered the consequences of having an overactive bladder. When I first started to notice the symptoms, I was afraid to go out with my girlfriends for fear of having an “accident.” One day I ran out of excuses but refused to share the real reason for my absences.

Consequently, they stopped inviting me to social gatherings.

My dating life was non-existent and even my work life took a hit. Just the thought of sitting through a two-hour meeting gave me terrible anxiety. What if my bladder started acting up?

Having an overactive bladder is not easy, it gives you a sudden urge to urinate and sometimes it may lead to the involuntary loss of urine. Do you know how embarrassing that is?

I slowly isolated myself and felt embarrassed to talk about it, even with my physician.

Several years went by before I decided to share my situation with my doctor. He assured me that although it wasn’t normal to develop an overactive bladder, there were several ways I could attempt to manage my condition.

MORE: Causes and ways to prevent an overactive bladder.

Here are some tips he shared with me:

  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess stress on the bladder.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Limit the fluid intake especially diuretics like caffeine or alcohol. If there is an important event (i.e., a meeting) limit the liquid consumption before the event.
  • Schedule 3 to 4 trips to the bathroom during the day and empty your bladder.
  • Urinate before and after sexual activity.
  • Strengthen your core muscles with exercises such as Kegels.

It is common to feel alone when suffering from an overactive bladder. However, this condition is more common than you think. Lifestyle changes may be able to help with the management of overactive bladder symptoms, but if this is not the case, consider participating in a research study.

Participants receive study-related care and medication at no cost, have access to possible new treatment options and may gain a better understanding of their condition. Compensation may also be available to those that qualify. If you are interested in learning more about research studies, click HERE!