Why Overactive Bladder Seems to Get Worse During the Winter

Available for Interviews: Dr. Karyn Eilber

Karyn Eilber, MD, is a board-certified urologist, an associate professor of urology & OB/GYN at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and is an expert in women’s health and men & women’s sexual wellness.

What Dr. Eilber Can Say on
Overactive Bladder:

Overactive bladder (OAB) is urinary frequency, urgency, and sometimes urge urinary incontinence. Although there isn’t a direct connection between cold weather and overactive bladder, the indirect relationship may be due to 1) drinking more fluids: we tend to drink more hot drinks when it’s cold, such as coffee, and more fluid causes someone to have to urinate more and caffeine is a bladder irritant; 2) wearing more clothes during the colder months, which means it takes more time to go to the restroom and for some people with OAB this extra time to get your undergarments off is the difference between making to the restroom and not.  

Warning Signs Of OAB

Generally, normal urinary frequency is urinating less than eight times in a 24-hour period, assuming someone is not drinking excessive amounts of fluid, which brings up another point: there is no scientific basis behind drinking eight glasses of water a day—but that’s a different topic. 

Treatments or Regimens That Could Help to Minimize This Condition

As just mentioned above, there is no science behind drinking eight glasses of water a day (think about all animals that just get thirsty, drink, then walk away from the water source), so only drinking when thirsty or at least avoiding excessive fluid helps. Also avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, carbonated beverages, and alcohol—and if someone has loss of bladder control with urgency, he/she should start urinating on a timed basis, i.e. pre-emptively urinate before the urge and urge incontinence occurs.

Risk Factors and Preventative
Measures for OAB

Risk factors for OAB include increasing age, menopause, pelvic surgery, pelvic radiation, certain neurologic conditions, and even spinal disease. While most of these things can’t be prevented, behavioral and dietary modification can help, and even doing pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) as when urgency occurs oftentimes just strongly contracting your pelvic floor can make that feeling go away.

OAB affects MILLIONS of men and women, and although it’s not life-threatening it can have a negative effect on the quality of life, so if someone is experiencing bothersome symptoms they can try the recommendations above and/or discuss with their doctor. 


Interview: Dr. Karyn Eilber

Karyn Eilber, MD, is a board-certified urologist with sub-specialty board certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and has over 20 years of experience taking care of women’s most intimate needs. She is an Associate Professor of Urology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is the Associate Program Director for the Cedars-Sinai Urology Residency Training Program. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Eilber served at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Urology Department, where she gained extensive experience in pelvic reconstruction following cancer treatment.

​Dr. Eilber’s research focus has been in the field of urogynecology, and she has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. In addition to being a member and past president of the Los Angeles Urologic Society, Dr. Eilber is a member of the American Urological Association, the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital reconstruction, the American Urogynecologic Society, and the Society of Women in Urology. She is also a Founding Medical Partner of Doctorpedia.

Dr. Eilber earned her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Riverside, which was an accelerated 3-year premedical program that allowed her to matriculate into the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine (UCLA). She completed a general surgery internship, urology residency, and female pelvic medicine fellowship at UCLA. 

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.


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