No complementary or alternative therapies have been proved to successfully treat overactive bladder. Research suggests that therapies such as reflexology and hypnotherapy aren't effective in treating this condition.
Complementary treatments that might be helpful include:
- Biofeedback. During biofeedback, you're connected to electrical sensors that help you measure and receive information about your body. The biofeedback sensors teach you how to make subtle changes in your body, such as strengthening your pelvic muscles so that when you have feelings of urgency you're better able to suppress them.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture practitioners treat you using extremely thin, disposable needles. One small study suggested that acupuncture might help ease the symptoms of overactive bladder.
Complementary treatments may not be covered by insurance, so check your plan carefully.
Jan. 16, 2013
- Marinkovic SP, et al. The management of overactive bladder syndrome. BMJ. 2012;344:e2365.
- South-Paul JE, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=52. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- Overactive bladder. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=112. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- What I need to know about bladder control for women. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/bcw_ez/. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- Ellsworth PI, et al. Frequently asked questions in the evaluation and management of overactive bladder. Journal of Family Practice. 2009;58(suppl):s1.
- Treatment of overactive bladder in women. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/bladder/bladder.pdf. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- DuBeau CE. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of urinary incontinence. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- Urodynamic testing. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/urodynamic/. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- DuBeau CE. Treatment of urinary incontinence. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- Anger JT, et al. Outcomes of intravesical botulinum toxin for idiopathic overactive bladder symptoms: A systematic review of the literature. The Journal of Urology. 2010;183:2258.
- Lightner DJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 21, 2012.
- Subak LL, et al. Weight loss to treat urinary incontinence in overweight and obese women. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;360:481.
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