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How Do I Retrain My Bladder

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Does Holding Your Pee Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Retraining Your Bladder

They can help both men and women who have problems with urine leakage or bowel control. A pelvic floor muscle training exercise is like pretending that you have to urinate, and then holding it. You relax and tighten the muscles that control urine flow. It is important to find the right muscles to tighten.

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

Types Of Urinary Incontinence

There are several different types of urinary incontinence, and our first step in solving your urinary leakage problem is to determine which type is affecting you.

These types include:

  • Stress incontinence urinary leakage due to pressure on your bladder
  • Urge incontinence sudden urge to urinate and inability to control urination
  • Functional incontinence youre unable to get to the bathroom in time
  • Overflow incontinence you cant fully void your bladder

Women can also suffer from mixed incontinence, which is typically a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Since there are different underlying problems that lead to urinary incontinence, our approach can vary. For example, functional incontinence requires mitigating the circumstances that are preventing you from reaching the bathroom in time.

Most women, however, experience stress and/or urge incontinence, and these types of the condition can benefit greatly from bladder retraining. That said, bladder retraining can play a valuable role in almost every type of incontinence.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Developing Overactive Bladder

Lifestyle adjustments can help reduce your risk of developing an overactive bladder. These may include:

  • Maintaining a weight thats healthy for you.
  • Drinking caffeine and alcohol in moderation.
  • Drinking the proper amount of fluids each day. Too many fluids can worsen your symptoms, while not drinking enough can irritate your bladder lining and increase the severity of your urges.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Performing Kegels or other pelvic floor exercises.
  • Managing conditions that may cause OAB, such as diabetes or UTIs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder

Urinary urgency is the feeling of the urgent need to urinate.

Overactive bladder represents a collection of symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Urinary urgency. Urinary urgency is a sudden, uncontrollable need to pee. Once you feel the need to pee, you have a short amount of time to get to a bathroom.
  • Frequent peeing. A frequent need to pee means you have to go to the bathroom more often than usual.
  • Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is a sudden, uncontrollable need to pee, and you may leak pee.
  • Nocturia. Nocturia is the need to get up to pee at least two times each night.

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Do The Right Exercises

High-impact exercise and sit-ups put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can increase leaks.

To strengthen your pelvic floor to relieve symptoms, replace high-impact exercise, such as jogging and aerobics, with strengthening exercise, such as pilates.

Pilates strengthens your core muscles, which is beneficial for stress incontinence.

Also Check: Overactive Bladder At Night Causes

What Is A Normal Bladder Habit

The volume of urine passed each time by a normal adult will vary from around 250400ml. This is the same as about two cupfuls. Most people with normal bladder habits can hold on for 34 hours between visits to the toilet. Most younger adults can also go right through the night without the need to pass urine.

With ageing, the bladder capacity may get smaller, so the frequency of passing urine may increase, both by day and night.

Also see: Overactive bladder

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Over The Following Weeks

Try to gradually increase the time between visits to the toilet. Each time you get the urge to go to the toilet, try to hold on for a few minutes longer.

If you wake up during the night with a strong desire to go to the toilet, it is reasonable to go and empty the bladder right away . As you improve by day, you will gain confidence to practice the programme at night.

How Does Incontinence Happen

How to train your bladder

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.

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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.

Tips To Get Your Bladder Under Control

Take control of your bladder

Do you find yourself struggling to make it to the bathroom in time? Urinary incontinence is a common condition. Your doctor can help you understand whats causing it and recommend a treatment plan.

Lifestyle changes can also help get your bladder under control. Learn about six steps you can take to reduce your risk of accidents and help you get back to enjoying everyday activities, leak-free.

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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.

A Bladder Training Program

Melbourne Bladder Clinic

We recommend working with a continence nurse specialist or mens womens and pelvic health physotherapist to design a bladder training program to suit your individual needs. Bladder training programs may take up to three months, with weekly or fortnighly appointments to monitor your progress and measure your improvement.

At the start of a bladder training program, you will be asked to keep a bladder diary. Every time you pass urine, you record the date, time and how much urine you pass. You will also need to record the amount of fluid that you consume each day. This will need to be done for a few days to see how much your bladder holds and how often you need to empty it. You should also include comments about leaking or other symptoms such as burning or pain.

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Who Can Benefit From Bladder Training

Bladder training should be of benefit for people who suffer from an urgent need to pass small amounts of urine more frequently than normal , and may experience leakage with urgency. Sometimes people with no urgency pass urine frequently to avoid accidents. These people may also benefit from bladder training.

The programme teaches people to suppress the urgent desire to pass urine until a socially acceptable time and place is found. With people experiencing urgency or frequency, learning to ‘hold on’ can initially be difficult but usually becomes easier with practice.

The Mechanics Of Retraining Your Bladder

Its all well and good to talk about bladder retraining, but what exactly does it entail? One of the first retraining methods we recommend are Kegel exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor to provide more support for your bladder and to control your stream of urine. If youre unfamiliar with Kegels, simply click here for a quick tutorial.

Kegel exercises are a great way to combat stress incontinence as you beef up the support systems surrounding your bladder and urinary tract.

Another great bladder retraining technique is to delay urination when you feel the urge. You can start off slowly by delaying your trip to the bathroom by a few minutes. The goal here is to gradually increase the amount of time that you delay urination, so that you only urinate every three to four hours.

Another great way to increase your control over your bladder is to create a schedule. You can start by making a trip to the bathroom every two hours . Gradually, you spread your schedule out so youre only making trips every three to four hours.

While this exercise may seem similar to the urination delay exercise above, the scheduling aspect adds a powerful psychological component that can help you better control your incontinence. Its important to note that you need to stick with your schedule and go to the bathroom whether you feel you need to or not.

If you have more questions about bladder retraining, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas.

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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.

Will There Be Setbacks

Bladder Retraining

Don’t be concerned with small day to day variations in your bladder pattern these are normal for everyone. However, any person who starts a bladder training programme may experience setbacks when the symptoms seem worse again. These may occur:

  • when you are tired or run down
  • during a urinary tract infection
  • at times of anxiety or emotional stress
  • when the weather is wet, windy or cold
  • during times of illness, eg. cold or flu.

If this does happen, do not be discouraged. Think positively and keep trying. It becomes easier with practice. Do keep doing the bladder training and the pelvic floor muscle exercises.

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Teach Your Bladder New Habits

Overactive bladder can be frustrating, messy and potentially embarrassing. It can also be expensive it was estimated that in 2007, the average person suffering from overactive bladder spent $1,925 annually .

Applying this to the estimated 34 million OAB sufferers in the US, this totals an astounding $65.9 billion dollars annually.

What if there was potentially a way you could decrease your costs and you could do this at home?

Bladder retraining is a technique that can be used to help you gain control over your bladder. Using this technique, youll work on building the muscles of the bladder so that you can hold the urine for longer periods of time.

You may not be accident-free forever but youll probably feel a whole lot better once youve learned this technique!

Drink Plenty Of Water

Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day unless your doctor advises you otherwise.

Many people with urinary incontinence avoid drinking fluids, as they feel it causes more problems. However, limiting your fluid intake makes incontinence worse, because it reduces your bladder’s capacity.

Not drinking enough fluid can also cause constipation or make it worse.

Find out which are the healthiest drinks.

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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:

What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Overactive Bladder

Urination and counselling for children in Reading and Oxford

A healthcare provider may order tests to help diagnose overactive bladder. These tests may include:

  • Urinalysis. A urinalysis examines the visual, chemical and microscopic aspects of your pee. A provider will look for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. If you have any of them in your pee sample, you may have an infection that causes OAB.
  • Urodynamic testing. Urodynamic tests measure how much pee remains in your bladder after you go to the bathroom, how much you pee, how fast you pee and how much pressure is on your bladder as it fills with pee.
  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that allows a healthcare provider to take a detailed look at your bladder.
  • Computed tomography scan. A CT scan is a noninvasive imaging test that produces 3D images of your bladder.
  • Cystoscopy. A healthcare provider will use a special instrument to look inside your bladder from your urethra. The provider typically uses a numbing gel so you dont feel pain in your urethra. In rare cases, they may use general anesthesia, so you arent awake, wont move and wont feel any pain.

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Empty Your Bladder On A Schedule

  • Urinate every 1 to 2 hours, if you can.
  • If you still leak urine during that time, urinate more often.
  • If you havent leaked any urine after 1 or 2 hours, increase the time between urinations.
  • Dont wait until the last minute to urinate.
  • Urinate as much as you can each time you go.
  • If you have trouble urinating, urinate once, then walk away from the toilet. In 5 to 10 minutes, urinate again. Use your abdominal muscles to help empty your bladder.
  • Your doctor or nurse will give you:

    • A urination log to write down how much and how often you urinate.
    • A plastic container to catch your urine. This will be a collection hat if youre female or urinal if youre male.

    Choose any 3-day period. During those 3 days, urinate only into the hat or urinal. Each time you urinate, measure the amount of urine. Write it in your urination log. Then, pour the urine into the toilet and flush. If you leave home during your collection period, take the urinal or hat and urination log with you.

    If you have incontinence, write that down as well. Write down if it happened:

    • When you were straining.
    • On the way to the toilet.
    • Without you knowing it.

    If you forget to measure your urine or cant measure your urine, tell your doctor or nurse.

    Bring your urination log with you to your next appointment. Your doctor or nurse will review and discuss it with you.

    Urinary Incontinence In Men With Prostate Issues

    Individuals presenting with different types of prostate issues eventually start experiencing urinary incontinence at some stage. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is one such type of prostate issue. BPH, as you age, can result in significant bladder control problems.

    When the prostate is enlarged, as in BPH, it can press the urethra, affecting urine flow. It would ultimately lead to a weak stream, frequent urination, and leaking.

    On the other hand, urinary incontinence can also develop after prostate cancer treatment for a patient.

    Removing the prostate, or using radiation to treat it, can lead to damage to the nerves and muscles of the bladder, urethra, and or sphincter, which controls the flow of urine from the bladder. It would also result in urinary incontinence.

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