An overactive bladder means more frequent trips to the bathroom, especially when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. This health issue is bothersome to deal with, but you can stop bladder leaks naturally and get much needed relief. Try these three remedies for getting your bladder back on track.
The Easiest Move
Kegel exercises strengthen pelvic floor muscles — and studies show they stop leaks for 86 percent of women who do them. To do: Squeeze your pelvic muscles (as though you’re trying to hold in urine) for a few seconds as you exhale, then release as you inhale—that’s one rep. Do 15 reps three times a day, trying to hold the contractions a little longer each time, advises Laura Corio, MD, author of The Change Before the Change. To improve pelvic muscle strength faster than Kegels alone, she suggests performing the exercises using small, weighted vaginal cones (available in drugstores for about $45).
The Best Herbal Fix
The flowering herb Angelica archangelica contains compounds proven to strengthen bladder muscles and inhibit enzymes that trigger spasms to keep leaks at bay. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology found that taking the supplement increased bladder capacity by 300 percent, plus reduced overnight urges to go by 280 percent. Try: TerraVita Angelica Root.
The Kitchen Cure
In a surprising 2017 study, women who drank 1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in one cup of water twice daily reduced their nighttime bathroom trips by 37 percent and all-day urgency by 47 percent. How?
The American diet is very acidic, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, who explains that this makes urine acidic, which irritates the bladder wall, triggering the urge to go. But this sip makes urine alkaline, so it doesn’t irritate your bladder. Note: If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before taking baking soda regularly.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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