Does doing Kegels help control overactive bladder?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 15, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Does doing Kegels help control overactive bladder?

Expert Answers

Dr. Leslie Kernisan is a senior medical editor at and a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics. She also provides housecalls and geriatric consultations in San Francisco.

Yes, doing Kegel exercises, which is also sometimes called "pelvic floor muscle training," can help control the symptoms of overactive bladder. This tends to work best if the Kegels are combined with an overall program of bladder training, which helps a person learn to better cope with the sudden urges to pee that are characteristic of overactive bladders.

Most people need to invest at least a few weeks practicing Kegels and bladder training exercises however, so don't be discouraged if you don't notice improvement right away. Many research studies have proven that a 6-to-8 week program of exercises can be very effective in reducing incontinence, especially if coaching from a good physical therapist is involved.

Of course, if you're concerned about overactive bladder symptoms, always be sure to start by discussing the issue with your doctor, especially if the problem is new or has suddenly gotten worse. Before starting Kegels or bladder training, you'll want to make sure that the overactive bladder isn't being caused by another medical issue such as diabetes, infection, a medication side effect, or a neurological disease.

Community Answers

Betsbrooks answered...

Yes, I am living proof. I went to physical therapy to learn to do effective kegels, and I now have no more pain and normal frequency. I practice my kegels twice a day - on rising and going to bed. It really worked for me. But I don't think I could have done it by myself.

Jeannetta answered...

I fell & broke my pelvis in several places. I had been urinating about every 3 hrs. But after the fall it was every hour & I couldn't get complete relief. My new doctor sent me to a Urologist who found that my uterus was resting on my bladder & the bladder was way out of place,keeping it from emptying. He thought the uterus had dropped due to childbirth & the fall shifted the bladder. I've been fine since surgery & months of doing kegels on my own. The Urologist just said work those muscles down there all the time for a few months. I did & it worked. Jeannetta