How Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder
There are several treatments that involve stimulating your nerves to help improve overactive bladder. Your nerves help communicate the message that your bladder needs to be emptied to your brain. By treating the nerves, your healthcare provider can improve your bladder control. Nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment that is considered when conservative treatments have not worked or have not been tolerated. Conservative treatments include behavioral therapies and medications.
There are several types of nerve stimulation treatments. These can include:
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Your pelvic floor muscles surround the bladder and urethra and control the flow of urine as you pee.
Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary incontinence, so exercising these muscles is often recommended.
A GP may refer you to a specialist to start a programme of pelvic floor muscle training.
The specialist will assess whether you’re able to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and by how much.
If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles, you’ll be given an exercise programme based on your assessment.
Your programme should include a minimum of 8 muscle contractions at least 3 times a day and last for at least 3 months. If the exercises are helping after this time, you can keep on doing them.
Research has shown that pelvic floor muscle training can benefit everyone with urinary incontinence.
Find out more about pelvic floor exercises.
What Is A Typical Program
Often, programs begin with a four-week period of holding your urine for a set amount of time that is somewhat longer than your average voiding interval. For example, if you tend to void every 30 minutes, at your 30-minute mark, wait to void for 15 more minutes. Although the goal is to try to wait for the specified amount of time, even if you have the urge to void, go ahead and void if you have pain or discomfort before the time is up. On the other hand, if you feel the urge to urinate diminish after you wait, then try to keep waiting to stay on schedule.
Usually, after one month of training, you will increase your wait time, and after another month, you will increase it again. Although you will be trying to meet your voiding interval most of the time, it is okay if intervals are occasionally longer or shorter. Also, you dont need to practice this technique throughout the night. The progress that you make during the day will help you to achieve a better voiding pattern around the clock.
How Does Bladder Retraining Work
Bladder retraining helps you to begin to hold more urine for longer periods of time. It is possible to train your bladder to do this by gradually increasing the time between each visit to the toilet.
This method sounds simple, however bladder retraining takes time and determination and will not work overnight. To have a chance of successful bladder retraining you must try and ignore the feeling that you need to go to the toilet for as long as possible.
If you can learn to ignore the feeling that you need to go straight away your bladder will begin to relax and will become less irritable. It is possible for you to be in control of your bladder and not the other way round.
How Do I Measure My Urine
To measure the amount of urine you pass, put a container in the toilet bowl. Sit on the toilet and pass urine into the container. When you have finished, measure the urine by tipping it into a measuring jug. For men, you may prefer to stand and pass urine directly into the measuring jug. You should write the measurement from the jug in your bladder diary, then tip the urine into the toilet and flush.
You can also use absorbent pads to work out how much urine you leak over one or two days. This is done by using a dry pad that has been weighed in a plastic bag. When you change the wet pad you put it back in the plastic bag and weigh it. If you take away the weight of the dry pad from the weight of the wet pad you can work out how much urine you have leaked. One millilitre of urine weighs one gram.
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Voiding Schedule: Regularity Matters
- Regular rhythm: It is important to go to the toilet at regular intervals so that your bladder gets used to a certain frequency. A voiding schedule can be helpful here. Bladder training programs often recommend that, once you have emptied your bladder first thing in the morning and perhaps again after breakfast, you try to keep the intervals between bathroom visits as regular as possible.
- Avoid going to the bathroom just in case: If you go to the toilet too frequently just in case, you might end up making the overactive bladder symptoms worse, because the bladder is then trained to send a signal that you need to urinate as soon as there is only a small amount of urine in it.
- Do not go to the bathroom straight away: Even if you have a very strong urge to go to the bathroom, it usually only lasts a few minutes and then dies down again. You can practice not emptying your bladder as soon as you feel the need to go. Going to the bathroom calmly and at a slow pace rather than rushing to get there can help too.
- Increase the intervals between emptying your bladder: You can try to wait longer between trips to the bathroom, but do so at a slow pace and without any stress. A voiding schedule can be helpful here too. You can use it to remember, for example, that you want to try to wait 5 minutes before emptying your bladder in the first few days, and then keep this up for about half a week. You can then lengthen that waiting period to 10, 15 and finally 20 minutes.
What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.
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Do Regular Kegel Exercises
Once you find your pelvic floor muscles, you can complete regular Kegel exercises to strengthen them. Simply contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold them for five to ten seconds, and relax them. The Urology Care Foundation suggests that you complete at least two sessions of Kegel exercises per day. Up to 30 contractions per session.
This One Bathroom Habit Could Be Secretly Sabotaging Your Life
Weve all done done a quick just in case wee before heading out or because were passing the bathroom.
Weve all done a quick just in case wee before heading out or because were passing the bathroom. If youre a parent, you might have also told the kids to do a wee now so we dont have to find a toilet later.
Doing a just in case wee isnt a problem if its just occasional and if you have normal bladder function.
But doing it too often, making a lifetime habit of it, can kick off a vicious cycle. You can end up training your bladder to think it needs to go when its only slightly full. And the problem can worsen over time.
If youre always ducking to the loo to wee at even the slightest tingling sensation, have a go at resisting that first urge and consider seeing your GP or a pelvic floor physiotherapist about it.
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How Long Does It Take To Work
If urinary urgency and frequency are your only symptoms, you may see improvement in a few weeks. If you have more severe urgency and frequency, bladder retraining may take longer. On average, it takes about three months to retrain the bladder. By using this technique, you can take more control of your urinary urgency and frequency symptoms.
Limit Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol have a diuretic effect on your body. That means they increase the amount of urine you produce. If youre having trouble controlling your bladder, consuming caffeinated beverages may be contributing to the problem.
To help manage your symptoms, consider limiting caffeine and alcohol, or avoiding them altogether. Coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and certain medications are common sources of caffeine.
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How To Strengthen Your Bladder And Urinate Less Often
This article was medically reviewed by Allison Romero, PT, DPT. Dr. Allison Romero is a Pelvic Health Specialist, Physical Therapist, and the Owner of Reclaim Pelvic Therapy in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over a decade of experience, Allison specializes in comprehensive pelvic physical therapy treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Sonoma State University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. Allison is a board certified Physical Therapist in California and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association-Section on Womens Health and the International Pelvic Pain Society.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 973,628 times.
Time Your Bathroom Trips
Based on the information from your voiding diary, come up with a comfortable interval between bathroom trips. Then set an interval timer or stopwatch and keep to this schedule during your waking hours.
This is known as “timed voiding.” If the time is up and you don’t have to go, empty your bladder anyhow. You should also empty your bladder when you wake up in the morning. At night, only go if you wake up and feel the urge.
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Urge Incontinence And Retaining Your Bladder
If youre getting urgent messages from your bladder even though you know it isnt full, you could have urge incontinence. You can re-establish control over those urges by retraining your bladder.
The average mans bladder can hold 350 ml to 550 ml of urine. Generally, a man feels like he needs to urinate when there is about 200 ml of urine in his bladder.But with urge incontinence, bladder muscles contract inappropriately causing a sudden and urgent need to urinate. Often these contractions occur regardless of the amount of urine thats in the bladder.
In many cases you can train your bladder to empty at the appropriate times. Bladder retraining is a technique that makes you aware of incontinence and urgency patterns then helps you relearn the skills necessary for proper emptying.
Through retraining, you gradually increase the amount of time between urinations by resisting the first urge to go and waiting until a scheduled time. The length of time between trips to the bathroom is increased until the urge can be held off for several hours.
Not only does bladder retraining lengthen the amount of time between bathroom trips, but it can also increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold, as well as improve your control over the urge to urinate.
Your healthcare provider can help you develop a program suited to your specific needs and circumstances but a typical program might include the following approach:
Track How Often You Urinate
To help find the cause of incontinence, for a few days keep a record of how much you drink and how often you pee. Make note of any leaking, along with anything — drinking a lot, heavy lifting — that might have triggered it. Bring the record to your doctor’s appointment. It will help your doctor better understand your symptoms and could give clues about the cause.
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One: Schedule Bathroom Visits
Calculate how often youre going to the bathroom based on your diary record. Then add about 15 minutes to that duration. For example, if youre going to pee every hour, schedule bathroom visits after one hour and 15 minutes.
This will enable you to go to the bathroom at set times, regardless of whether you actually feel the urge or not. Gradually increase the amount of time until you find a schedule that works for you.
Do Not Let Setbacks Discourage You
- Keep up your diary. That is the only way to record positive results and gives you an overview of possible setbacks.
- It is also good to know that setbacks are completely normal, particularly during times when you are feeling exhausted or stressed.
- Setbacks can be caused by other things too, like common colds, urinary tract infections or wet, windy weather.
Bladder training is not always a suitable treatment for weak bladder. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether this might be a good approach for you.
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How Does Incontinence Happen
Usually, the brain signals time to go when your urinary bladder is only partially full. That gives you a fair warning to find a place to avoid.
When you decide to let go, a valve called the urinary sphincter opens, allowing the urine to flow out through the urinary tract from the urinary bladder to the external environment. Muscles in the urinary bladder wall contract to empty as much as possible.
But with bladder control problems, the urinary bladder muscles contract on their own, with little warning. This results in a powerful and unchecked urge to urinate.
If a man is unable to hold his urine until he finds an appropriate place, the result can be anything from a small leak to soaked garments.
What Else Can Be Done
For many people with IC, changes in diet can also help control symptoms. To learn more, check out the information about IC and food sensitivities. There are also over-the-counter products and prescription medicines that may help control symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency .
Revised Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
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Is Bladder Training Right For Me
The decision to try bladder training depends on what’s causing the problem. Bladder control training is typically used to treat urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine. Incontinence is most common in women, especially after childbirth and menopause. Different types of urinary incontinence exist, including:
- Stress incontinence: Sudden pressure on your abdomen causes you to accidentally lose urine.
- Urge incontinence: You feel a sudden, strong urge to go to the bathroom because your bladder contracts even when it’s not full. You may not always be able to reach the toilet in time.
- Mixed incontinence: A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence: A problem emptying the bladder completely that leads to urine leakage.
Bladder retraining may also be used to treat bed-wetting in children.
Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled
Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Overactive Bladder Fast
Perform the following steps to train your bladder:
Key Tips For Successful Bladder Training
Dont rush and try to overdo it too soon.
Think about it as if you are training for a marathon or a walking charity event or any other challenging event in your life.
It would take many weeks of walking to eventually slight jogging to finally slow running until you could run or even walk a race and then youd need to build endurance to go the distance.
You may never run a marathon, but building bladder control may give you more freedom and joy than any other training goal youve tried for!
Practice relaxation on a daily basis regardless of you progress. It will give you inner peace and other health benefits far beyond bladder control.
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