Ingredients for Bladder Control & Urinary Health: Pumpkins & Cranberries

Here we go, ladies! The holiday season is barreling down on us. Now is not the time to have to deal with the added stress of occasional bladder control issues like sleep disruption, multiple trips to the bathroom, and the feeling that you’re going, going, going all day. The last thing you need is the feeling of having to go, go, go all day. Fortunately, there are a couple of ingredients, typically found in a holiday shopping list that can help to tame a temperamental bladder. So why waste time? Let’s start with pumpkin seed…


‘The pelvic floor’ is the term for a web of muscles that stretch around from your tailbone (the coccyx) in back to your pubic bone in front. Together they form a kind of trampoline, supporting not only each other, but everything that rests on top of them, including the bladder, the uterus and (above and behind them) your intestines and colon. They also serve as sphincter muscles, or muscular doorways that relax or tighten, opening and closing the urethra, the vaginal opening and the bowel. Basically, the pelvic floor is the thing that controls what stays in your body as well as what can come out of it.1

This is a hard enough job on its own. Add to that excess body fat, occasional constipation or coughing, or lower levels of estrogen after menopause,2 and the muscles of the pelvic floor have a harder job doing what they’re there to do in the first place: controlling what stays in and what comes out.

Fortunately, the month of Halloween has a treat for you, instead of a trick. Enter the mighty pumpkin—specifically, pumpkin seeds. Compounds in pumpkin seeds have been shown to help maintain the strength the muscles of the pelvic floor.* Pumpkin seed components also help healthy bladder function by supporting bladder muscles and helping to maintain the strength of the detrusor and sphincter muscles.3


Moving from Halloween to Thanksgiving, we change our focus from pumpkin seeds to cranberries, a naturally-sourced way to help maintain a healthy urinary tract that Native Americans (who were there at the very first Thanksgiving) knew all along4, but that modern science is only now beginning to understand.

We’ve all heard the arguments for and against the conventional wisdom of drinking cranberry juice to maintain a healthy urinary tract. And we’ve all heard the studies that first came out, as confusing and contradictory as they may have seemed. Early clinical trials erroneously sought to prove the cranberry’s antibacterial properties by analyzing its acidic properties.5 Later on, scientists identified the real reason why cranberries are so helpful in maintaining a healthy urinary tract: the cranberry has a special component that quite literally supports a healthy urinary tract. It’s a polymeric compound known as proanthocyanidin,4 and it’s basically a chemical compound that says to bacteria, “move along.”

Ever had that one relative that puts everyone on edge at family gatherings? Like, oh, Thanksgiving dinner, for instance? Everything’s going fine, until that one person shows up and, well—it kind of goes downhill from there. The wrong kind of bacteria is like that.

Everything seems fine, and then one guest overstays their welcome and boom—now it hurts to pee. Fortunately, the proanthocyanidin found in cranberries interferes with bacteria that may adhere to the lining of your bladder, and instead keeps it moving on and out of your system.

Scientists have yet to find a chemical compound to get rid of ‘that one relative,’ unfortunately. However, there’s always hope.


Fortunately, AZO offers a range of products to help manage urinary health and support pelvic floor and bladder muscle strength.

AZO Cranberry® Gummies are a fun way to get all the benefits of a daily serving of cranberries without as much sugar and the bloating of drinking cranberry juice all the time.*6 Made with clinically proven Pacran®, a super-concentrated, whole-fruit cranberry powder, they make your daily serving of cranberries a treat. (Honest, it’s no trick!)

And AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® helps maintain the strength of the muscles of your bladder and pelvic floor.*7 So you can go ahead and keep an eye on the turkey. Or the stuffing. Or the mashed potatoes. Or the green beans. Or the yams. Or the gravy. Or the punch.

And as for ‘that one relative,’ well—if scientists find something for that, we’ll be sure to let you know…