Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Overactive Bladder - Treatment Options

Overactive Bladder - Treatment Options

Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for overactive bladder.

Non-surgical treatments:

Kegel exercises:

Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These exercises can help control stress urinary incontinence, urge urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, and fecal incontinence. In addition, they may be used to help slow the progression of vaginal prolapse. Kegel exercises must be done correctly and regularly in order to work.

Pelvic floor therapy:

Pelvic floor therapy consists of visits to a physical therapist with specialized training in pelvic floor disorders. These specialized physical therapists utilize a combination of various techniques, listed below, depending on the type of urogynecological condition they are treating.

Behavioral modification:

Behavioral modification consists of education on diet, fluid intake, and other lifestyle changes to manage various bothersome symptoms.

Bladder training:

Bladder training consists of learning to use the pelvic floor muscles to suppress overactive bladder symptoms, including urinary urgency, nocturia, and urge urinary incontinence.


Biofeedback uses an intravaginal device to train pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax properly.

Functional electrical stimulation:

Functional electrical stimulation utilizes a device that can be used intravaginally or externally, delivering a gentle electrical current to activate or relax the nerves and muscles in the pelvis.

Manual therapy:

Manual therapy uses pressure applied to and released from muscles in spasm, in order to relax them and increase blood flow to the area for healing.

Joint and tissue mobilization:

This therapy involves gentle manipulation to help calm the muscles and nerves of the pelvis.

Overactive bladder medications:

There are several brands of overactive bladder medications on the market to treat urge urinary incontinence. These medications work by relaxing the bladder muscle. Side effects are usually mild and include dry mouth, dry eyes, blurred vision, urinary retention, constipation, dizziness, or drowsiness. Changing the brand or dose of medication can decrease side effects. There are several novel agents that cause less constipation and dry mouth.

Surgical treatments:

Sacral nerve modulation:

Sacral nerve modulation is an FDA-approved treatment for urinary urgency, frequency, urge incontinence, and retention. Sacral nerve modulation uses a small device that is implanted under the skin of one of the upper buttocks. It works by gently stimulating the sacral nerves to help the bladder function more normally.

Chemodenervation of the Bladder (botulinum toxin type A):

Currently, this is considered third line therapy for overactive bladder/urge urinary incontinence. It can be very effective in patients with neurogenic bladder or urge urinary incontinence who are not responsive to anticholinergic medications.

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Dr. Alexis E. Te, M.D. | Cornell Urology

Alexis E. Te


Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, CIGNA, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, United Healthcare Commercial
The Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center
Dr. Bilal Chughtai, M.D.

Bilal Chughtai


AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Federal Medicare, Fidelis Care, Health First, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid], Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare], NY State Medicaid, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth
The Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center


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