Overactive Bladder Treatments

It can often be difficult to pinpoint the cause of an overactive bladder so your treatment will involve relieving the symptoms that give you the most trouble. Many people with an overactive bladder will have a mixture of symptoms including urgency and frequency. Your GP will most likely recommend conservative measures to manage your symptoms before recommending medication if these measures don’t work. As a last resort, there are surgical options available to treat very severe symptoms. Your GP or healthcare professional will be able to advise you on the best route of treatment for you.

Conservative Treatments

Lifestyle, Fluids and Diet

A few small changes to your lifestyle could help to alleviate urgency and frequency symptoms associated with an overactive bladder . It is important to make sure that you are drinking enough fluids to avoid bladder irritation and infection. It is advisable to limit your intake of fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol. More advice on Lifestyle, Fluids and Diet.

Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Percutaneous Nerve Stimulation or PTNS as it is commonly known is a treatment that directly stimulates the nerves responsible for bladder control and is a method that can be used to treat frequency and a n overactive bladder.


Antispasmodic Medications

There are several medications available which can help prevent spasms of the bladder muscle, which can help reduce urgency and frequency; they belong to a group of medicines known as antimuscarinic or anticholinergic drugs. Below is a list of some medications that may be prescribed and links to more information.


Bladder Augmentation

If conservative treatments and medication have failed then you may be referred to a surgeon to discuss your options. A bladder augmentation is one surgical option available. There are several ways in which this operation can be performed and your surgeon will discuss the best option for you. This operation is considered major surgery and involves cutting the bladder open. Further details about Bladder Augmentation.

Botulinum Toxin

Botulinum Toxin or Botox as it is more commonly known is a powerful neurotoxin, which works by blocking the electrical impulses to a nerve, which makes a muscle contract causing muscle paralysis. This is a relatively new treatment licensed to treat bladder overactivity. It will usually only be considered if medications have failed to improve your conditions. Y

Detrusor Myectomy

The Detrusor Myectomy is a major operation used to treat an overactive bladder with symptoms of urgency and frequency. It involves removing all or part of the outer muscle layer that surrounds the bladder.

Sacral Nerve Stimulation

Sacral Nerve Stimulation or Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) is a device that is implanted under the skin in the upper buttock. It helps by correcting the messages that run along our nerve pathways. SNM is performed in two stages, first you will undergo an evaluation, and then, depending on your results you will be offered the implant.



Acupuncture is an ancient practice that believes that illness and pain occurs when a person’s ‘qi’ or energy flow becomes blocked. Inserting fine, sterile needles into certain points helps to unblock this energy flow. A research study has shown that having acupuncture along the sacral vertebra can suppress overactive bladders and symptoms of frequency and urgency.


Further information and downloads can be found in the help and information section. Living with a bladder condition can affect you emotionally and socially; sometimes it can help to speak to others who understand your situation. The Bladder & Bowel Community Support Group is available 24 hours a day via Facebook, and will allow you to connect with those who share your condition. Start your own topic today or just follow one that interests you.