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How Do You Make Your Bladder Stronger

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Simple Tips For A Stronger Bladder

Leaky Bladder? Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor!

Im sure youve heard the phrase, You cant teach an old dog new tricks. Typically, this refers to being older in age and it being more difficult to learn something new. This may apply to people, but it sure doesnt apply to our bladders. You can very well teach an old bladder a new trick, that being to prevent leaks.

As we age, the pelvic floor muscles become weaker, which increases the risk of bladder leaks. But suffering from bladder leaks doesnt have to be an inevitable part of aging. In fact, you can train your bladder to be more effective and reduce your risk of leaks.

The best way to train your bladder is to make it stronger through exercise. Now, this isnt the type of exercise you do in the gym, but one you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Tip #: Limit Caffeine Intake

Make an Appointment Catrina Crisp MD513 463 4300

“You may notice that within an hour maybe less after drinking your morning coffee, you’re 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.

Kegels Or Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises

Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic floor strength, improve bladder function, and possibly even completely eliminate leakage.

As a first step, identify the pelvic floor muscles by stopping urination midstream. You should feel a clench inside the pelvic region that is holding it in. These are the muscles you will need to target for these two forms of Kegels.5

Try and do about 3 sets of short and long contractions each with 10 repetitions per set, twice a day. The focus needs to be on accuracy rather than count. So if you cant manage so many, do fewer but do them right.6

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What The Caregiver Can Do

  • Encourage or help the patient with appropriate skin care after using the bathroom. Use warm water and pat the area dry.
  • Help the patient keep a diary that records specific foods or drinks that may affect how frequently the patient goes to the bathroom.
  • Help the patient maintain a bladder or bowel plan.
  • Encourage the patient to go to the bathroom at consistent time frames during the day, like after a meal.
  • Encourage regular daily exercise, as permitted by the health care team.

How Soon After Starting Kegel Exercises Will Urinary Incontinence Get Better

7 Exercises Your Leaky Bladder Wants You To Do

It may take 4 to 6 weeks before you notice any improvement in your symptoms.10

Kegel exercises work differently for each person. Your symptoms may go away totally, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms but still have some leakage, or you may not see any improvement at all. But even if your symptoms dont get better, Kegel exercises can help prevent your incontinence from getting worse.

You may need to continue doing Kegel exercises for the rest of your life. Even if your symptoms improve, urinary incontinence can come back if you stop doing the exercises.

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Practice Good Bladder Hygiene

Be sure to follow good bladder hygiene to promote the healthiest bladder possible. In addition to emptying your bladder regularly, be sure to:

  • Wipe from front to back
  • Urinate before and after sex
  • Clean your genitals before and after sex
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes

Youll also improve your bladder health by cleaning your rectum daily to keep unhealthy bacteria at a minimum.

Why Does Our Bladder Fail Us

The bladder is like a balloon. It begins young and toned, smoth and supple. It fills and empties efficiently.

With age, after repeated filling and emptying, it loses tone and elasticity and doesnt fill and empty as efficiently.

The pelvic floor supporting the bladder can begin to weaken and sag, just like this sling. For many women, the pelvic floor never fully recovers its elasticity after pregnancy this leads to loss of bladder control.

Result: Increase in bathroom visits, a constant need to go, as wel I as leaks & accidents.

The bladder is like a balloon. It begins young and toned, smoth and supple. It fills and empties efficiently.

With age, after repeated filling and emptying, it loses tone and elasticity and doesnt fill and empty as efficiently.

The pelvic floor supporting the bladder can begin to weaken and sag, just like this sling. For many women, the pelvic floor never fully recovers its elasticity after pregnancy this leads to loss of bladder control.

Result: Increase in bathroom visits, a constant need to go, as wel I as leaks & accidents.

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How Do I Do Kegel Exercises

To do Kegels:

  • Lie down. It may be easier to learn how to do Kegels correctly while lying down. You dont have to lie down once you learn to do Kegels correctly.
  • Squeeze the muscles in your genital area as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or passing gas. Try not to squeeze the muscles in your belly or legs at the same time. Try to squeeze only the pelvic muscles. Be extra careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or buttocks .
  • Relax.Squeeze the muscles again and hold for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds. Work up to 3 sets of 10 each day.
  • Practice Kegels anywhere. When your muscles get stronger, try doing Kegels while sitting or standing. You can do these exercises at any time, such as while sitting at your desk or in the car, waiting in line, or doing the dishes. Dont do Kegel exercises at the same time you are urinating. This can weaken your pelvic floor muscles over time.10
  • If you are uncomfortable or uncertain about doing Kegel exercises on your own, a doctor or nurse can also teach you how to do Kegels. A pelvic floor physical therapist or other specialist may also be available in your area to help teach you how to strengthen these muscles.

    Set Your Clock For Kegels

    Physical Therapy Bladder Control Exercises for Men

    For women, even if you have minimal symptoms of poor bladder health now, you can make a preemptive strike and strengthen your pelvic floor. Dr. Ritsema emphasized that exercising those muscles can be done in a matter of minutes. In fact, by setting an alarm and doing Kegel exercises three times per day, you can strengthen these muscles significantly to improve your bodys ability to hold urine. Kegels can be very helpful in maintaining bladder control.

    Read Also: Feeling Of Not Emptying Bladder

    Avoid High Impact Exercise: It Can Make Leakage Worse

    If youre looking at losing weight or exercising to help your urinary incontinence, be aware that high impact exercise can actually make things worse by putting pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Even sit-ups may prove problematic. So skip the aerobics classes and trade in your running shoes for some yoga or pilates. This will help you build core strength, stretch your body, and get a good workout without taking a toll on your pelvic floor muscles. Plus, as we saw, yoga has some asanas that are actually beneficial for the pelvic region.16


    Do Daily Pelvic Floor Exercises

    The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for supporting the bladder, and they help control the flow of urine through the urethra. When they become weakened or damaged, it can cause stress incontinence.

    Performing pelvic floor exercises including Kegels, squats, and the bridge can help strengthen the muscles around and within the bladder to prevent urinary incontinence.

    According to the results of two clinical trials , women who participate in pelvic floor muscle training are twice as likely to see an improvement in their urinary incontinence than those receiving symptomatic care alone. They are also five times more likely to have their symptoms completely resolve.

    Those who have had recent surgery, have given birth recently, or have other health concerns should talk with a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

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    Tips To Help Older Adults Maintain A Healthy Bladder

    Bladder health is a topic most people know little about. Unfortunately, many wait until symptoms begin to appear before taking action. We spoke with David Ritsema, MD, a urologist at Banner Health Clinic in Northern Colorado. He offered a few tips to get ahead of bladder issues so that you can win your bladder battle or stop it before it even begins.

    How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated

    How To Make Bladder Muscles Stronger

    Treatment methods for bladder weakness include methods such as behavioral therapies and pelvic floor training, as well as various medications and surgical procedures. Bladder weakness can usually be treated effectively and, in some cases, can even be cured.

    For older people with overactive bladder, stress incontinence and mixed incontinence, the main approach to treatment is behavioral therapy in the form of toilet habit re-training, as this is not associated with any side effects. This involves defining a personalized schedule for emptying the bladder, timed voiding and bladder re-training.

    There are also many other treatment options based on the cause of the urinary incontinence:

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    Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence

    No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.

    Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.

    After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12

    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.

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    Understanding Stress Vs Urge Incontinence

    If you are struggling with holding your urine, its important to understand the main two types of incontinence. Stress incontinence is leakage caused by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or similar actions. It is a result of a weakness in the pelvic floor. Urgency is that got to go feeling. For some people, the urge may feel so strong that getting to the bathroom without leakage becomes very difficult, producing urge incontinence. Your treatment may differ depending on what type of incontinence you are experiencing. Speak with a doctor right away to learn more.

    What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse To Develop In The First Place

    6 Secret Ways to STOP Urinary Urgency FAST | Overactive Bladder 101

    Any health conditions that put stress on the muscles of your pelvic floor, causing them to weaken, can lead to pelvic organ prolapse. These include:

    • Pregnancy and vaginal child birth.
    • Being overweight/weight gain.
    • Surgery in your pelvic area including cesarean section .
    • Genetics some people are born with a higher risk than others to develop weakness in the tissues that support the muscles of the pelvic floor.
    • Frequent bouts of sneezing, coughing, laughing.
    • Exercises and contact sports.

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    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.

    Avoiding The Conversation Could Be Dangerous

    For men, speaking with a doctor about bladder health may feel embarrassing. But keep in mind, that there could be more at risk than just your pride. Dr. Ritsema explained that some urinary issues can be a late sign of an enlarged prostate. These symptoms may include incontinence, weak stream, straining, voiding at night and voiding shortly after just having gone. Putting off that uncomfortable conversation with your doctor or loved one could mean more serious conditions have time to develop and worsen.

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    Exercises For Urinary Sphincter Muscles

    The urinary sphincter muscles are located at the base of the pelvic floor. They help control urine flow as well as prevent leaking of urine from the bladder. Sphincter muscles are circular and surround the opening of the urethra where it connects to the bladder. The urethra is a tubular structure that extends from the bladder to the outside of the body, through which urine flows. As we grow older, our sphincter muscles may weaken. Exercise strengthens this muscle and helps prevent incontinence.

    Can Nerve Stimulation Help Overactive Bladder

    Sometimes your bladder muscle suddenly squeezes and makes you feel the ...

    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.

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    What Foods And Drinks To Avoid

    While you may want to drink less liquid so you dont have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination.

    Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including:

    • tomato-based foods

    You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.

    Healthy Habits That Support Your Bladder

    Unless you have an issue, chances are you dont spend too much time thinking about your bladder. But keeping your bladder healthy helps you avoid bladder cancer and other urinary tract-related problems.

    This amazing organ can stretch in size, going from only about two inches big to over six inches long. And while your bladder can hold up to three cups of fluid, most people feel the urge to go when its only about a quarter full.

    At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers specialize in helping keep your bladder healthy and functioning well. And if you experience a bladder issue, our providers have the experience needed to expertly diagnose and treat your condition.

    Keep reading to learn more about your bladder and our top tips for supporting bladder health.

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    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:

    Anticholinergic medications

    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:

    How To Do Kegel Exercises

    5 Proven bladder control training tips from Pelvic

    Once you know what the movement feels like, do Kegel exercises 3 times a day:

    • Make sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down.
    • Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Hold tight and count 3 to 5 seconds.
    • Relax the muscles and count 3 to 5 seconds.
    • Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day .

    Breathe deeply and relax your body when you are doing these exercises. Make sure you are not tightening your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles.

    After 4 to 6 weeks, you should feel better and have fewer symptoms. Keep doing the exercises, but do not increase how many you do. Overdoing it can lead to straining when you urinate or move your bowels.

    Some notes of caution:

    • Once you learn how to do them, do not practice Kegel exercises at the same time you are urinating more than twice a month. Doing the exercises while you are urinating can weaken your pelvic floor muscles over time or cause damage to bladder and kidneys.
    • In women, doing Kegel exercises incorrectly or with too much force may cause vaginal muscles to tighten too much. This can cause pain during sexual intercourse.
    • Incontinence will return if you stop doing these exercises. Once you start doing them, you may need to do them for the rest of your life.
    • It may take several months for your incontinence to lessen once you start doing these exercises.

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