How Hypnotherapy Can Transform Your Overactive Bladder

World Continence Week, an annual initiative managed by the World Federation of Incontinence and Pelvic Problems (WFIPP), brings attention to the widespread issue of incontinence and aims to improve public awareness and access to care. Incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine or stool, affects a staggering 400 million people worldwide. Unfortunately, many individuals suffering from this condition remain hesitant to seek help due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

Understanding Overactive Bladder (OAB)

If you have an overactive bladder, you are likely familiar with the sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate. This condition often leads to frequent bathroom visits throughout the day and even disrupts sleep at night. Urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control resulting in urine leakage, is also a common symptom. Dealing with an overactive bladder can cause significant stress and anxiety, particularly in unfamiliar environments where access to a bathroom is uncertain.

There are a range of treatments that are offered to people who are experiencing overactive bladder symptoms.  They include pelvic floor therapy, learning to manage fluid intake and behaviour modifications and wearing pads or other sanitary products through to surgical interventions.

The Role of Hypnotherapy

When traditional treatments like bladder training and pelvic floor muscle exercises fail to alleviate symptoms, hypnotherapy offers an alternative approach that addresses the underlying mental aspects of the condition. Hypnosis has gained recognition for its potential in treating various physical and mental conditions. By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy aims to reprogram the automated processes that govern bladder function.

Recent research has highlighted the connection between psychological factors and overactive bladder. Anxiety, stress, and depression have been linked to more severe OAB symptoms and a diminished quality of life. Hypnosis, by targeting stress and anxiety through the mind-body connection, may effectively reduce the intensity of OAB symptoms.

While research exploring the benefits of hypnotherapy for overactive bladders is still limited, existing evidence suggests promising results:

  1. A 2018 review of ten studies found that hypnotherapy can improve OAB symptoms, enhance coping skills, and reduce OAB-related anxiety. Techniques focusing on increasing self-efficacy and confidence were particularly effective.
  2. A small 2011 study involving 20 women with OAB showed that those who received hypnotherapy sessions reported significant improvement in quality of life compared to those who did not.
  3. A recent 2021 study using brain scans indicated that hypnotherapy sessions may prompt changes in brain activation and connectivity, leading to improved OAB symptoms.

If you suspect you have an overactive bladder or experience urge incontinence, the first step towards improvement is acknowledging the issue and seeking a medical diagnosis. Remember, there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help. After receiving a confidential diagnosis, you can explore different treatment options, including hypnotherapy.

During a hypnotherapy session, a certified hypnotherapist will guide you into a relaxed state conducive to positive change. Contrary to popular misconceptions, hypnosis does not allow others to control your thoughts or behaviours. Instead, it heightens your receptiveness to suggestions for positive change, which are discussed and agreed upon beforehand. Through hypnosis, you can visualise positive outcomes, rebuild self-confidence, and develop a trusting relationship with your body.

Hypnotherapy offers a safe and side effect-free alternative for those seeking to address overactive bladder and urge incontinence. By tapping into the subconscious mind, this therapeutic approach can address emotional issues alongside physical symptoms. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to reprogram the subconscious and update the functioning of automated bodily processes.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) consists of numerous practitioners who recognise the power of the mind-body connection in supporting individuals with conditions such as an overactive bladder. These professionals are dedicated to using hypnotherapy to help people feel more comfortable and confident throughout their daily lives.

World Continence Week sheds light on the significant impact of incontinence on individuals’ health, self-esteem, and quality of life. While incontinence remains a sensitive topic, it is crucial to increase public awareness and encourage individuals to seek help. Hypnotherapy has emerged as promising alternative for those dealing with overactive bladders and urge incontinence. By addressing the mental aspects of the condition, hypnotherapy offers potential relief and empowers individuals to regain control over their bladder function. If you are struggling with an overactive bladder, consider exploring hypnotherapy as a safe and effective option to improve your symptoms and enhance your overall well-being.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has many practitioners who are very interested in utilising the mind-body connection to support people to feel more comfortable and confident throughout the day, and this includes working with people who have issues with an overactive bladder. You can find someone to work with you by using our therapists finder.


Photo by Nina Hill