Overactive Bladder (OAB) and Constipation

February 6, 2023

If you have bladder leaks, you may have noticed that they worsen when you are constipated. This is because there’s a link between constipation and frequent urination. Constipation causes the colon to enlarge and place more pressure on the bladder, leading to increased urgency and frequent urination. Having to constantly urinate is a condition known as overactive bladder (OAB). Moreover, avoiding fluids due to OAB may further increase the risk of constipation.

Constipation occurs when you go for an extended period without having a bowel movement, typically more than three days. The longer you go without having a bowel movement, the harder and more difficult it is to pass your stool. Constipation can exacerbate the symptoms of OAB, which include:

  • Urgent feeling to urinate
  • Need to urinate frequently, both day and night
  • Urine leaks with the urge to urinate

To prevent constipation, you can incorporate fiber-rich foods into your diet, such as:

  • Whole grains (whole wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, bran flake cereals)
  • Legumes (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, chickpeas)
  • Fruits (berries, apples with skin, oranges, pears)
  • Vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green peas, collard greens)
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans)
  • Drinking plenty of water will also soften stools, making them easier to pass

If you are experiencing symptoms of overactive bladder, please contact us at the Austin Urology Institute: 512-694-8888