Bladder problems ruining your Christmas? 5 ways to take control this festive season

Is your bladder playing Scrooge? Avoid leaks and worries this festive season with healthcare brand Jude.


Written in partnership with Jude.

Mature lady in knitted santa hat -Credit: Shutterstock/Kanea

As the holiday season approaches, an overactive bladder can become even more of an issue for the nearly 20% of the UK population affected by the condition. The combination of increased alcohol consumption, richer food choices, and more time spent away from home can all exacerbate overactive bladder symptoms.

It can mean your bladder becomes the Grinch who stole Christmas – leaving you nervous about making long car journeys to see loved ones; worried about leaks when you play with your grandchildren or fearful about getting caught short in a public place.

Bladder-care brand Jude is here to help with the best advice on how to tackle urinary issues, so you don’t have to say ‘bah humbug’ this year and can enjoy your Christmas without worries.

Five tips to tackle an overactive bladder

How to stop bladder leaks at Christmas

More than five million people in the UK suffer from an Overactive Bladder (OAB) and it affects men and women equally. However, lifestyle changes can make a real difference and there are practical steps you can take during the festive season, to ensure you don’t end up feeling like Scrooge.

Bladder health brand Jude is on a mission to shatter the silence surrounding urinary issues, fostering candid discussions about incontinence and helping you get on with your life leak-free.

Its team of experts understand the impact OAB can have on your daily life. They’ve compiled five tips to ensure that your bladder problems don’t interfere with the joy of the festive season.

Woman in nightwear and slippers sat on the edge of a bedCredit: Shutterstock / Iryna Inshyna

1. Stay hydrated

Choose your festive drinks carefully

It’s all too easy to knock back the wine or festive fizz at a party, but if you’re struggling with bladder problems, soft drinks or a mocktail may turn out to be your best friend.

  • Alcohol, aside from being a diuretic, can have an irritant effect on the bladder lining. It can cause inflammation and increased sensitivity in the urinary tract, resulting in a feeling of urgency and discomfort.
  • Some alcoholic beverages, like wine and some cocktails, have more acidic properties that can contribute to extra bladder irritation, especially if you are already prone to bladder problems. Try to avoid cocktails containing citrus or tomato juice or fizzy liquids such as cola, as these are known to cause irritation. Try a white wine spritzer or cocktails containing apple or pear juice as a bladder-friendly alternative.
  • Alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can make urine more concentrated and potentially more irritating to the bladder lining. Dehydrated bladder tissues are more susceptible to irritation and discomfort.

If you still want to enjoy a tipple or two, try sipping water at the same time as enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. It can help dilute the effects of alcohol. Even better try a 0% or low-alcohol beer, mocktail or wine.

2. Plan long journeys

Don’t stay trapped at home – hit the road with confidence

The fear of not being able to control your bladder can make taking long journeys a daunting prospect. During the holiday season, this can lead to missing out on cherished moments with loved ones.

Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to reclaim your travel freedom and confidently embark on those long-awaited trips.

  • Check toilets enroute – do your homework before you set out and check your journey online to see where you can take a break. The Great British Public Toilet Map is a free resource. If you are travelling on the motorway network, you can search for motorway services here.
  • Allow extra time to travel so you can break up your journey with comfort breaks.
  • Carry a travel pack (recommended by the Jude community). This could include washable absorbent pants (such as Jude’s leak-proof pants), wipes, sanitiser – anything that ensures you feel fresher.

3. Take supplements

Try Jude bladder control supplements

Jude Bladder Strength supplements are a perfect Christmas present to yourself to make this year’s festive season something to celebrate.

Customers say the supplements reduce their urge to go when out and about, keep them dry at night and support them during long car journeys.

The ingredients include Pumpkin Seed Extract, which relaxes bladder overactivity and restores hormone balance, and Soy Phytoestrogen which helps to regulate bladder contraction and increase collagen production in the pelvic floor.

They are so effective that 9.2 out of 10 participants in a clinical trial said taking Jude’s supplements had improved their quality of life, with 66% reporting fewer daily leaks, and 70% fewer night-time bathroom visits.

Trusted by more than 20,000 people

Developed with urogynaecologists and Harvard Medical School professor Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk, PhD, MBA, Jude Bladder Strength Supplements have been tried and tested by more than 20,000 people in the UK.

Many customers report a difference in less than a month – meaning you could be leak-free before Christmas.

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4. Strengthen your pelvic floor

Add a seasonal flourish to your pelvic floor exercises

Research has shown that strengthening your pelvic floor improves many of the symptoms of bladder problems and can prevent leaks.

Exercises make a difference and you can do them anywhere without anyone knowing. So, this Christmas why not ring in the changes and give them a seasonal twist.

  • Do them to Christmas Carols.
  • Squeeze them as you wrap gifts.
  • Strengthen them as you travel in the car to see friends and family.

5. Pee in the right position

The way you pee can make a difference

If you learn how to urinate properly, you’ll have a better chance of fully emptying your bladder, reducing the urgency and frequency of bathroom breaks.

How to pee properly

When you need to pee, ensure you’re adopting the right posture.

  • Sit on the toilet comfortably with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lean slightly forward and rest your elbows on your upper thighs. This posture allows your pelvic floor muscles to relax and let your bladder fully empty itself.
  • Squatting over the toilet seat can stop your bladder from emptying completely and cause unnecessary strain. Yes, public restrooms may not be the cleanest, but it’s better to cover the seat with some toilet paper than to risk damaging your pelvic floor.

Go only when you need to

If you find yourself going for a ‘just in case’ wee, it’s time to stop. When we go to the loo too frequently, it can train our bladder to feel the urge more often than necessary. Ensure you only go when you genuinely feel the call to pee.

More tips to help a weak bladder

  • Avoid the temptation to skimp on water intake due to fear of accidents, as dehydration adversely affects your physical health, brain function, and bladder. Ensure you drink enough water every day to support overall well-being.
  • Getting up in the night to pee is a problem for many people, take our experts’ advice on how to enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
  • If worries about leaks are putting you off taking part in Christmas games and fun, travelling or staying away for a night, try Jude’s Leak-Proof Pants.
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Saga Exceptional reader offer*

Enjoy 20% off Jude Bladder Strength Supplements and save up to £15 on your first order. Use code SAGA20 at checkout for the 20% discount or click this link to the Jude website and 20% will automatically be deducted when you go to pay.

*T&Cs: Single use discount code. For new customers only. Offer valid until December 31 2023. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.


Written by an Exceptional journalist, in partnership with Jude. The content was written in response to a brief and fact-checked by our commercial partner.

Phillipa Cherryson

Written by Phillipa Cherryson she/her


Phillipa Cherryson is a senior digital editor for Saga Exceptional. Phillipa has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for local and national newspapers, UK magazines and reporting onscreen for ITV. In her spare time she loves the outdoors and is a trainee mountain leader and Ordnance Survey Champion.

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