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How Do You Retrain Your Bladder

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Your Urine Doesnt Actually Need To Be Clear

Retraining Your Bladder

Theres a widespread belief that, ideally, your urine should be perfectly clear at all times a sign that youre well-hydrated. In reality, however, having totally clear urine may be a sign that youre actually drinking too much water.

Generally, if someone is well-hydrated, the urine is going to be on the clear side, and if theyre less hydrated it will be darker, Brucker says. But its a myth that you should always be super well-hydrated and peeing clear. For most people, I just say, Drink when youre thirsty.’

Doctors generally recommend that your urine is either a pale straw or transparent yellow color, although its not a huge deal if its a bit darker or lighter . Other colors like pink, red, orange, or green could be a sign of a kidney or liver disorder, or could just be the result of food coloring in something you ate.

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.

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.

For example:

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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.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Improve Bladder Control: Evidence

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 bladders capacity.

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

Find out which are the healthiest drinks.

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Description Of The Intervention

Treatment options for OAB include lifestyle interventions, behavioural therapy, pharmacotherapy, onabotulinumtoxinA administration, peripheral tibial nerve stimulation, sacral neuromodulation and surgery . The American Urology Association guidelines recommend behavioural therapy as the firstline treatment for OAB and pharmacotherapy as the secondline treatment . Compared with antimuscarinics, behavioural therapy is associated with a lower risk of adverse events . This is a significant advantage because OAB is a benign condition. Occasionally, a behavioural intervention and pharmacotherapy are used in combination to provide an additive effect.

Bladder training is a type of behavioural therapy that can help by minimising the frequent urge to urinate. There is currently no agreed or standardised definition but bladder training includes the following components :

  • Patient education: explaining the mechanism of bladder action and voiding function to enable patients to gain a better understanding of their excretory function.
  • Scheduled voiding: training to void at fixed voiding intervals while awake, which progressively lengthen as successful control is achieved.
  • Positive reinforcement: psychological support to patients to encourage them to continue the 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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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:

How Does Incontinence Happen

Bladder Retraining

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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Bladder Retraining After Long Catheterization

May 30, 2013 by Ken Theriot

A couple of weeks ago my urologist told me I didnt need to wear the leg bag with my catheter anymore if I didnt want to. I wrote about this in my article I Havent Really Need This Leg Bag! At first I felt a bit like I wish Id known this 3 months ago! But as it turns out, I couldnt have gone bag-less any earlier because I was being prepped for my antegrade-retrograde urethrogram , during which time my bladder and urethra had to be resting for 3 months. This apparently makes for a much more accurate picture of the stricture length and location.

But now that they have done the urethrogram and pinpointed the details of the stricture , I can go bag-less every day. However, even after a couple of weeks I still have to go every hour.

So Ive been wondering if I should be holding it for longer, trying to push through the discomfort of the urge to pee for longer and longer, in order to retrain my bladder to hold onto the pee for the normal 4 hours. My hunch appears to have been right, according to the below article. Basically, you have to inform your bladder that YOU are the boss, not IT. As it turns out, thats not entirely true. Im bending to my bladders willeventually. But I was able to get up to 90 minutes a few times yesterday. So maybe its working.

Anyway, here is the article I refer to:

Why Retrain The Bladder

Whenever you experience pain or urgency in the bladder, the normal impulse is to urinate to stop the symptom. This establishes a pattern of frequent voiding, which can be difficult to reverse, even after your pain is controlled. To retrain your bladder, you will follow a series of simple steps to achieve longer and longer periods between urinations. Increasing bladder capacity is the objective, meaning that you will be able to hold more urine in your bladder and will not need to go as often.

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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better

Pelvic floor exercises and changes to your lifestyle may take six to eight weeks before you start to see results.

Many medications start to relax your bladder muscles after a few hours. But they may take up to a month to work fully.

Botox should start to work after one to two weeks.

Most people start to see improvement after six nerve stimulation treatments. However, it may take up to 12 treatments to see results.

Time Your Bathroom Trips

17 Best images about INCONTINENCE on Pinterest

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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What Medications Can I Use For Overactive Bladder

Your doctor may suggest trying behavioral techniques before having you use a medication to treat overactive bladder. However, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of using the following commonly prescribed medications:

Anticholinergic medications

These medications control muscle spasms in the bladder:

  • Oxybutynin , oxybutynin XL , oxybutynin TDDS .

Home Care And Support

Changes in your childs routines and behavior may greatly improve daytime wetting, even without other treatments. Encourage your child to

  • use the bathroom whenever the urge occurs.
  • drink more liquid, mainly water, if the doctor suggests doing so. Drinking more liquid produces more urine and more trips to the bathroom.
  • take extra time in the bathroom to relax and empty the bladder completely.
  • avoid drinks with caffeine or bubbles, citrus juices, and sports drinks. These drinks may irritate the bladder or produce extra urine.

Children need plenty of support from parents and caregivers to overcome daytime wetting, not blame or punishment. Calming your childs stresses may helpstresses about a new baby or new school, for example. A counselor or psychologist can help treat anxiety.

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Distraction Techniquesinformationen About $cms: If$$cms: Valueconvert2$$cms: End: If$

If you are trying not to go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge, and want to wait longer between emptying your bladder, several techniques might help to distract you:

  • Whenever you feel like you have to go, you could try to relax and distract yourself with positive thoughts. For example, you could tell yourself: I will go to the bathroom in 5 minutes, and think about something else until then.
  • It can also be helpful to sit on a chair and bend your hips to lean the upper part of your body forward as is you were leaning down to tie your shoelace. You can hold this position until the urge passes. Leaning forward changes the pressure in your abdomen and the position of your urethra, so you have less of an urge to urinate.
  • You could also sit upright and tense your pelvic floor muscles, pulling up and in.

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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider

Bladder Retraining

See a healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms of an overactive bladder.

Age-related OAB may develop gradually and slowly worsen over time. If your symptoms develop suddenly and you have heavy leakage, your OAB may be a symptom of another condition, such as an infection or a neurological issue. Its best to have a provider check these symptoms sooner rather than later.

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How Do You Retrain An Overactive 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.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • If I need a specialist, can you give me a referral?
  • Will I need to have tests to find the cause of my nocturia?
  • What other problem could be causing my symptoms, and why?
  • What treatments do you think are right for me and why?
  • What are the pros and cons of each type of treatment?
  • After I start treatment, are there problems I should I watch for?
  • How soon after treatment will I feel better?
  • When should I call you?
  • Will I need treatment for the rest of my life?

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Dont Let Urinary Incontinence Dampen Your Life

If youve experienced some form of urinary incontinence the accidental release of urine you are not alone. Its an issue that affects 25 million people in the U.S., according to the National Association for Continence. And if youre a woman, its twice as likely to be an issue, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This is a huge womens health concern, says Kimberly Kenton, MD, chief of urogynecology at Northwestern Medicine and director of the Womens Integrated Pelvic Health Program at Northwestern Medicine. Urinary incontinence typically starts for women in the reproductive years. After pregnancy and a vaginal delivery, theres a 30 percent increase in urinary incontinence for women.

The increase in urinary incontinence after pregnancy makes sense given the pressure the uterus puts on the bladder, Kenton says. Then, when giving birth, pelvic muscles can become stretched and weakened, and nerves can be damaged.

Got to go

Even if youve sailed through childbirth without an issue, urinary incontinence can creep up on you with age. By 40, urinary incontinence affects 30 to 50 percent of childbearing women, according to the National Association for Continence. By the time women are in their 60s, about two-thirds suffer some form of incontinence, Kenton says.

Addressing incontinence

Bladder training

And then there is bladder training, a form of behavior modification.

Limit Or Avoid Foods And Drinks That Irritate Your Bladder


Certain foods and drinks can irritate your bladder. Examples include foods and drinks with caffeine or chocolate. More examples are listed in the table below.

You might need to change your diet to try to limit the number of these foods and drinks that you have at once. For example, dont have apple juice, cereal with milk, and a banana for breakfast. If you drink coffee, try not to also use milk and a sweetener. Changing your diet can help you need to urinate less often.

Food type

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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.

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.

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