Childbirth, menopause and natural ageing can all cause the bladder to weaken. A weak bladder leads to incontinence. While there is no cure, prescription medications can control bladder spasms and reduce the frequency of urination. Some people with a weak bladder prefer to pursue more natural options to strengthen the bladder.
Some dietary modifications can strengthen the bladder and reduce frequent urination. It is imperative to keep drinking water on a regular basis. It keeps the bladder working and dilutes the urine to inhibit growth of bacteria. People with incontinence are prone to urinary tract infections because of the incomplete emptying of the bladder. Reduce your intake of alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine, highly acidic foods (tomatoes and citrus juice) and sugary drinks. All can contribute to frequent urges, and some promote the growth of bacteria.
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor often help with bladder control. Kegel exercises are particularly helpful and can be done anywhere. If you aren't sure which muscles to strengthen, urinate. During urination, try to stop the flow. Once you are able to stop the flow of urine by tightening your pelvis, you have identified the right muscle group. Simply repeat the step you took to stop urination, without urinating. You can do kegel exercises anywhere, at any time.You want to do about 100 kegels per day to really strengthen the bladder. Don't overdo kegels, especially when first starting, because you can actually weaken the bladder in the short-term and make incontinence worse.
Some herbs can strengthen the bladder either by working on the force of bladder contractions, toning the muscles or strengthening the sphincter. Saw palmetto strengthens bladder muscles and the bladder sphincter. It is useful for men and women, but men have the added benefit of protection from prostate cancer. Cranberry is a diuretic, but it can help the bladder empty faster, contributing to less need to urinate overall. Corn silk also makes the bladder empty better and reduces bacterial growth. Cranberry and corn silk are often sold together. Buchu empties the bladder and inhibits bacteria. Horsetail is both a diuretic and a muscle toner.