How can you manage an overactive bladder at home?

Written by: Mr Martin Nuttall
Published: | Updated: 27/11/2023
Edited by: Jay Staniland

Overactive bladder is a debilitating condition that leaves sufferers with a frequent urgency to pee, sometimes with urinary incontinence involved. It causes embarrassment and negative effects on the social life of the person with the condition, but having the condition doesn’t mean your social life is over. Here, consultant urologist, Mr Martin Nuttall, provides an overview of overactive bladder and explains the different ways of managing the condition.


What are the best lifestyle and behavioural therapies to help manage an overactive bladder?

The first step in treating an overactive bladder is the daily management of the condition. This can be done by:


  • Absorbent products

    Millions of adults use absorbent products in the day-to-day management of their condition. Pads, shields, and adult absorbent underwear help with the management of possible leakage. Though the products are not a cure, the benefit is that the patient can buy them over the counter, and doesn’t need to discuss the condition with anyone.
  • Behavioural modification

    Training your bladder with scheduled toilet visits is a non-invasive approach to the condition. This treatment focuses on awareness of the urinary tract, aiming to develop bladder control. Dietary changes such as a limit on specific foods and drinks, especially caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks help with the managing of the condition.
  • Pelvic exercises and biofeedback

    Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, to help support the bladder and decrease urgency to pee. If you can stop yourself peeing midstream, then you have found the correct muscles. Squeezing these and releasing them helps to build up the strength.

    Biofeedback is the introduction of a probe or electrode to help in identifying the pelvic floor muscles. When the correct muscle is contracted, the machine gives a signal.

The success of these management exercises and techniques is that the patient must be dedicated to the lifestyle and behavioural changes, and must persevere. Even having said that, these techniques are not always successful in altering the underlying overactive bladder condition.

If these are unsuccessful, then an appointment with your consultant urologist will be able to help you in the next stage of the treatment of the condition, with the introduction of drug therapies and surgical treatments.


To schedule in an appointment with Mr Martin Nuttall today, visit his Top Doctors profile. 

By Mr Martin Nuttall

Mr Martin Nuttall is a top urologist who runs the Chelmsford Urological Partnership alongside Mr Bill McAllister and Mr Daniel Swallow. Mr Martin Nuttall was the lead urologist at the Mid Essex NHS Trust (Broomfield Hospital), Chelmsford between 2011 and 2016.

Mr Nuttall specialises in investigating and treating causes of blood in urine, erectile dysfunction and male infertility, PSA screening, kidney stone diseases, urinary tract symptoms, incontinence and urological cancers. He also carries out diagnostic tests for prostate cancer as well as laparoscopic and robotic kidney and adrenal surgery.

After Mr Nuttall completed his first degree at Cambridge University in 1995, he graduated from medical school in 1998. He undertook specialist surgical training as a Urologist with the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Mr Nuttall had further urological training in London and the South-East of England which included two years at Guy’s Hospital subspecialising in complex kidney surgery for stones and cancer. Mr Nuttall was awarded a travelling grant from the European School of Urology.

Mr Nuttall was the Clinical Lead of the urology department at Broomfield Hospital for five years where he introduced various projects to improve and streamline the quality of patient care. He developed his interest in urological cancers and keyhole surgery as applied to urological conditions and treatment of kidney, ureteric, and bladder stones.

Mr Nuttall joined Broomfield hospital has a urologist in 2010 as a consultant urologist and has continued to work there as well as at the Chelmsford Urology Partnership. He has published various scientific papers.

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