Heres What You Can Do To Make Your Bladder Muscles Stronger
In this article, you will find out what you can do to make your bladder muscles stronger. Like all muscles, they get stronger by exercising them. This is what we do when we go to the gym to work out. Its the same with the muscles that control the flow of urine. The ring-shaped muscles are called sphincter muscles and you have both an inner and an outer. You can strengthen both these with a certain type of exercise.
How Is Bladder Training Done
Start by trying to hold your urine for 5 minutes every time you feel the urge to urinate. When its easy to wait 5 minutes, try to increase the time to 10 minutes. Continue to increase the amount of time until youre urinating every 3 to 4 hours.
How do you retrain a weak bladder?
To retrain your bladder, your doctor will advise you to follow a regular bathroom schedule. Try holding off for 10 minutes after the initial urge to go. Your doctor may encourage you to gradually increase the length of time between each bathroom visit. Try to avoid emptying your bladder between visits.
Additional Concerns For Incontinence
Senior Dogs and Incontinence
Older pets can also develop senility and simply be unaware that they are dribbling urine. There are some excellent Chinese herb geriatric support supplements to help support cognitive and immune function. And, once again, a diet change can be very helpful for these animals. Itâs important that you support your aging pet holistically and address all of their issues with their wellbeing in mind.
Older animals are also more prone to some of the health problems that can lead to urinary incontinence as a secondary issue due to excessive water intake. These include diabetes, Cushingâs disease, hyperthyroidism , and kidney disease.
These and other related problems can usually be ruled out by a blood panel and urine culture.
Puppies and Incontinence
Dogs with spinal cord disease or damage are also susceptible to urinary incontinence. Chiropractic care and/or acupuncture may be helpful in these cases. Both chiropractic care and acupuncture can promote optimal bladder health.
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Increase Time Between Trips
Once you’re comfortable with your voiding schedule, extend the amount of time between bathroom trips by 15 minutes. For example, if you’re urinating every hour and 15 minutes, stretch that out to an hour and a half for a week.
Once you’re ready, you can shoot for an hour and 45 minutes. The goal is to get to the point where you’re urinating every three hours or so the specific timing is up to you.
Other Forms Of Incontinence
Urgency incontinence, overflow incontinence, and neurogenic incontinence have other causes. For example, urgency incontinence is caused by the bladder contracting at the wrong time. Overflow incontinence means that too much urine flows into the bladder. Once it gets full, the rest overflows causing urine leakage. Neurogenic incontinence has to do with damage to the spine, nerves, or brain.
Theres a possibility that you have a combination of each of the four types. Most mixed cases include a combination of stress and urgency incontinence.
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Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
Yes, nerve stimulation can help improve OAB. Your nerves help tell your brain that your bladder is full. By treating your nerves, you can improve your bladder control.
Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment. Healthcare providers only recommend it if other treatments dont work.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These include:
Sacral nerve stimulation
Sacral nerve stimulation is a therapy that electrically stimulates the nerves that control your bladder.
A healthcare provider will implant a small device called a neurotransmitter under the skin near your upper buttock area. The neurotransmitter sends mild electrical impulses through a wire near your sacral nerve. Your sacral nerve is a nerve in your lower back. The impulses help you control your bladder.
Sacral nerve stimulation can reduce the number of times you have to use the bathroom or the number of times you accidentally leak pee. Its overall very effective. Its also an outpatient procedure, so you can go home afterward.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation
Percutaneous tibial stimulation sends small nerve impulses to a nerve branch near your ankle. It helps stimulate bladder control.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is an outpatient procedure. Many people need 12 weekly sessions and then monthly maintenance sessions afterward.
Botulinum toxin injections
Botox® is the most well-known botulinum toxin brand. A healthcare provider injects Botox into your bladder wall using a cystoscope.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence In Men
Different types of incontinence have different causes.
- Stress incontinence can happen when the prostate gland is removed. If there has been damage to the nerves or to the sphincter, the lower part of the bladder may not have enough support. Keeping urine in the bladder is then up to the sphincter alone.
- Urge incontinence is caused by bladder muscles that squeeze so hard that the sphincter cant hold back the urine. This causes a very strong urge to urinate.
- Overflow incontinence can be caused by something blocking the urethra, which leads to urine building up in the bladder. This is often caused by an enlarged prostate gland or a narrow urethra. It may also happen because of weak bladder muscles.
In men, incontinence is often related to prostate problems or treatments.
Drinking alcohol can make urinary incontinence worse. Taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs such as diuretics, antidepressants, sedatives, opioids, or nonprescription cold and diet medicines can also affect your symptoms.
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What You Can Do: Pelvic Floor Exercises
Your pelvic floor goes from your genital area to the base of your spine. Itâs made of muscles that help control your bladder. To make them stronger, pretend you want to stop yourself from going to the bathroom — you should feel a pull in your genital area and your backside when you squeeze. Try to hold it and build up to 10 seconds, or do 8 to 10 quick squeezes. Over time, this may help keep those muscles working like they should.
Should I Do Kegel Exercises
Many factors, including pregnancy and childbirth, surgery, and getting older, can weaken pelvic floor muscles. If these muscles are weak, you may start to leak small amounts of urine, stool, or gas.
Kegel exercises strengthen these muscles, helping you to stop these leaks.1,2 Studies suggest that pelvic floor muscle training may also improve sexual function.3,4
Pelvic floor muscle training can help both women and men. But in some cases, practicing these exercises may not be a good option. Check with your health care professional before you begin.
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Support And Information About Sexual Health And Intimacy
If you need more support or information about sexual health or intimacy, you can also talk with your healthcare provider about MSKs Female Sexual Medicine & Womens Health Program. For more information or to make an appointment, call .
The Female Sexual Medicine & Womens Health Program provides services at the following locations:
- Rockefeller Outpatient Pavilion
Mistake : Going Too Often
One more trip to the bathroom before rushing out the door may seem like smart planning, but it can backfire. The danger is that you can end up training the bladder to respond to small volumes, which can lead to overactive bladder symptomsthe sensation of needing to urinate more frequently than is normal, explains Dr. Rickey.
Going too often at night can also be a problem for men who then cant fall back to sleep, says Stanton Honig, MD, director of Male Urology, adding that this condition, called nocturia, can affect quality of life. If this is bothersome to patients, there are treatment for it, says Dr. Honig.
Other problems can also cause increased urinary frequency, such as an infection along the urinary tract. Therefore, if you find that you need to visit the bathroom far more often than you used to, talk to your primary care physician or urologist. You may need a urinalysis to rule out a UTI, as well as to check for blood in the urine , which can happen to a small number of people with an overactive bladder who have a bladder tumor, Dr. Brito says. Blood in the urine is never normal and usually requires further testing to determine its cause, Dr. Brito says.
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Avoid Tobacco To Help Prevent Bladder Cancer
Every year, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. Tobacco use is a major risk factor, Badlani warns: Smokers are at least three times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers. If youâre still smoking or using other forms of tobacco, itâs important to stop for bladder health and other reasons as well. Talk to your doctor about how to quit smoking.
What Behavioral Changes Can I Make To Help Fix Overactive Bladder
You can make many changes to your behavior to help fix your overactive bladder. These include:
Keeping a bladder diary
A healthcare provider may ask you to keep a bladder diary for a few days. Noting what happened before you had an accident can help the provider determine the cause of your OAB. Youll use your bladder diary to track:
- What you drink.
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products.
- Spicy and acidic foods and drinks.
- Foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners, such as diet soft drinks and some chewing gums.
Maintaining bowel regularity
Constipation can place pressure on your bladder and affect your bladder function. You may be able to avoid constipation and reduce bladder symptoms by keeping healthy bowel habits. The following can help you maintain bowel regularity:
- Increase your fiber intake. Incorporate foods such as beans, pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables into your diet.
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water each day.
- Exercise regularly.
Managing your weight
Having overweight can put pressure on your bladder, which may contribute to bladder control problems. Maintaining a weight thats healthy for you can reduce pressure on your bladder.
Stop using tobacco products
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can irritate your bladder muscle. Coughing spasms due to smokers cough can also cause leakage.
Bladder retraining teaches you how:
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Who Does Overactive Bladder Affect
Overactive bladder is most common in people 65 and older. Women may have OAB at a younger age, usually around 45.
How common is overactive bladder?
Overactive bladder is common. It affects up to 33 million adults in the U.S., including as many as 30% of men and 40% of women. However, that number may be higher because many people may feel embarrassed and wont get help.
How does overactive bladder affect my body?
Overactive bladder symptoms can cause stress and affect your quality of life.
Tip #: Limit Caffeine Intake
Make an AppointmentCatrina Crisp MD513 463 4300
You may notice that within an hour maybe less after drinking your morning coffee, youre in the restroom. And again, 30 minutes later, Dr. Crisp says.
To avoid this, she suggests limiting your caffeine intake. Caffeinated beverages, like coffee and soft drinks, are very irritating to the bladder and are likely to increase your urgency frequency.
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How Often Should I Do My Kegel Exercises
When you first start doing your Kegel exercises, you may not be able to repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times. This is ok. It is much better for you to do fewer Kegel exercises that make your pelvic floor muscles stronger, than to do more exercises that do not work the muscle in the right way. As you get better at doing your Kegel exercises, slowly increase the number of times you repeat the exercise until you reach 20. Your goal should be to do 20 Kegel exercise three to four times each day.
The great thing about Kegel exercises is that you can do them anytime you want to do them. No one can tell that you are doing these exercises. You do not need any special equipment to do Kegel exercises. You can do your Kegel exercises before you get up in the morning, at lunchtime, at suppertime, and at bedtime. You can do them while you are watching TV or reading. Some men put notes on their refrigerator or on their bathroom mirror to remind them to do their Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises can help both men and women. Some mens partners do the exercises with them. The more you do them, the stronger your pelvic floor muscles will become.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Overactive Bladder
As youre retraining your bladder, a healthcare provider may prescribe medication. Medications can help restore normal bladder function. Commonly prescribed medications for overactive bladder include:
Beta-3 adrenergic medication
Beta-3 adrenergic medications cause the detrusor muscles in your bladder to relax so your bladder can store more pee. A healthcare provider may prescribe:
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Anticholinergic Drugs For Overactive Bowel
This particular class of medication is used to control the muscle spasms that lead to overactive bladder. Anticholinergic drugs focus on blocking the nerve signals that typically trigger inopportune bladder contractions, reduce the frequency, and the severity of your urge to urinate.
There are several anticholinergic drugs to choose from and they all require a doctors prescription. Most people have very favourable reactions to anticholinergics, though there are a few possible side effects which may include dry mouth, constipation, increased heartbeat and/or drowsiness.
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
Once individuals are performing pelvic-floor muscle contractions daily and correctly, they can begin to incorporate the exercises into their activities of daily living. Developing healthy bladder habits, such as regular and timed bathroom visits, and avoiding potential bladder irritants such as caffeine, can be helpful lifestyle changes for people with urinary incontinence.
Your physical therapist can provide information about:
- Diet and nutrition, to help you avoid food and drinks that may irritate the bladder.
- Changing the behaviors that make your symptoms worse.
- Techniques to decrease urinary urge and frequency, such as muscle strengthening or stretching.
- Maintaining a healthy bathroom schedule.
- Maintaining bowel regularity.
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But Do Recognize When Youre Drinking Enough
While you should drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, drinking to excess can certainly affect your bladder control. How do you walk that fine line?
I tell my patients to look at their pee color. If its light yellow or clear, they dont need to drink more, W. Stuart Reynolds, MD, MPH, associate professor in the department of urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells SELF. If their urine is dark yellow or orange, they need to drink more.
Remember, hydration doesnt just come from your water bottle. Soups, juices, and even certain foods contribute to your daily fluid intake as well, which can help your goals feel more realistic.
Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. Urine contains waste and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.
As people get older, the bladder changes. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less flexible bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.
While you cant control everything that affects your bladder, here are 15 steps you can take to keep it as healthy as possible:
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What You Can Do: Drink Plenty Of Liquids
It helps clear out harmful things like bacteria and may help prevent bladder cancer by flushing out certain chemicals. And if you don’t drink enough, your urine will have less water in it, and that can irritate your bladder. But not all liquids are the same — caffeine and alcohol can irritate your bladder. Water is always your best bet. Talk to your doctor about how much you should drink each day.
Keep A Bladder Diary If Youre Urinating Too Often
If you feel that you’re urinating too often, keep a bladder diary of how often you visit the restroom and how often you’re drinking throughout the day, Badlani suggests. Also, keep this diary if you have episodes of urinary incontinence to show your doctor what factors might be involved in the problem.
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