Updated: Jan-13-2020

Bladder Control Supplements: Are They Worth It?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Many people are looking for bladder control supplements to solve their problem. But are they really worth it? Let's find out.
Bladder Control Supplements
If you have an overactive bladder and you're wondering if bladder control supplements will work for you, you're not alone. Shutterstock Images

What are Bladder Control Supplements?

Bladder control supplements are dietary supplements that help manage urinary problems, the most common being an overactive bladder. Most of these supplements contain herbs and plant-derived ingredients, and there are also some prescription bladder control medications[1]. Each has their own indications depending on the cause and your needs.

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Why Should You Take Bladder Control Supplements?

Bladder control supplements are recommended for individuals who have an overactive bladder[2]. This condition is characterized by the inability to hold urine. Possible underlying causes[3] include bladder obstruction, chronic kidney disease[4], diabetes[5], Parkinson's disease[6], and multiple sclerosis[7]. In some instances, it may also be related to recent surgery, pregnancy and childbirth[8], or as a side effect of certain medications[9]. Nonetheless, some people experience it for no apparent reason.

What are the Ingredients to Look for in Bladder Control Supplements?

Several herbs and plant-based ingredients have been recommended for the management of overactive bladder[10]. These include:

  • Capsaicin - This compound is what gives chili peppers their spicy taste. According to experts, it works by blocking nerve signals from the bladder to the brain (source). It also allows the bladder to increase its holding capacity. However, the main disadvantage of using this compound are side effects such as irritation and pain.
  • Corn Silk - You probably don't know it, but this stuff that you throw away when eating corn is actually loaded with many nutrients. For centuries, corn silk has been used to treat urinary tract infections (source). Just recently, they have also become a treatment for overactive bladder despite the lack of enough studies proving how well they work.
  • Ganoderma lucidum - A mushroom that has been a staple in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It treats overactive bladder in men by inhibiting the production of hormone that causes prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is one of the leading causes of overactive bladder in men (source).
  • Pumpkin Seed Extract - Pumpkin seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids (source), which are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This ingredient is said to be effective not just for overactive bladder, but for other urinary disorders as well and normalize urine function (source).
  • Magnesium Hydroxide - Studies have shown that this compound can help prevent overactive bladder in women by reducing muscle contractions in the bladder. Like capsaicin, however, it produces unpleasant side effects like allergic reactions, cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Bladder Control Supplements - Do They Really Work?

Bladder control supplements that featured the ingredients listed above show some promise, but it would be better to have more definitive studies that provide evidence for their safety and efficacy. Overall, the use of these supplements may be warranted, but it is strongly advised that you do so under the supervision of a certified specialist.

How to Choose the Best Bladder Control Supplements?

Bladder control supplements may sound safe and effective, but that may not be entirely true. Much like other dietary supplements, these are not regulated by the FDA. It is always best to see a licensed physician, preferably one who specializes in urology and/or complementary medicine. They are the ones in the best position to help you choose your bladder control supplements wisely.

The Bottom Line

An overactive bladder has no effect on a person's lifespan, but it does affect the quality of life (source). Thus, it is advisable to manage, or if possible, treat the condition.

If you experience any changes in your urination habits, consult your doctor right away to confirm diagnosis and formulate a proper treatment plan. They may prescribe medications or alternative remedies to help with the problem. Bladder control supplements may help, but it is strongly advised to speak with your doctor first prior to use.

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available informations and our estimation of efficacy.

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