How Can You Strengthen Your Urinary Bladder
As much as people assume that bladder health is sustained on its own, several habits could diminish urinary bladder functions.
To pile on this critical issue, the health of your bladder is only often revealed once conditions such as overactive bladder and urinary tract infection occur. Without immediate and proper action, it could be too late for conventional mild treatment.
Fortunately, you can keep your bladder in its optimum health, securing its functions with the correct practices.
So, whether youre experiencing trouble holding your pee or simply looking for ways to prevent diseases and disorders concerning your urinary system in general, stick around and learn about how you can strengthen your bladder.
How To Do Kegel Exercises
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.
Heres How To Address A Pelvic Floor Thats Too Tight Or Too Weak
We asked experts including a gynecologist, two pelvic health physical therapists, and a vagina coach for tips on how to keep your pelvic floor muscles in shape and working as well as possible:
Find a doctor who understands the pelvic floorthis could be a gynecologist, urologist, or urogynecologist, for instanceor a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health. You can ask your usual gynecologist how experienced they are with these issues, ask a potential new gynecologists office, or do the research online yourself. The American Physical Therapy Association5 can help you to find a physical therapist who focuses on pelvic health.
Many states and insurers have an open-door policy to receiving care that allows patients to see a physical therapist without a diagnosis or referral, but if you need one, your family doctor, ob-gyn, urologist, gastroenterologist, or other prescriptive provider may be able to help.
Pelvic health physical therapy is available in a variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, private practices, and veterans affairs and university health education systems. Its also widely covered by insurance plans, including Medicare, some forms of Medicaid, and private and military insurance, although, as with all things when it comes to insurance, this may vary based on your specific situation.
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How To Find The Right Muscles
A Kegel exercise is like pretending 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.
Next time you have to urinate, start to go and then stop. Feel the muscles in your vagina , bladder, or anus get tight and move up. These are the pelvic floor muscles. If you feel them tighten, you have done the exercise right. Your thighs, buttock muscles, and abdomen should remain relaxed.
If you still are not sure you are tightening the right muscles:
- Imagine that you are trying to keep yourself from passing gas.
- Women: Insert a finger into your vagina. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down.
- Men: Insert a finger into your rectum. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down.
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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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:
These medications control muscle spasms in the bladder:
- Oxybutynin , oxybutynin XL , oxybutynin TDDS .
- Tolterodine .
- Mirabegron .
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.
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How To Strengthen A Weak Bladder With Kegel Exercises
If youre an exercise enthusiast, you probably already know that the best exercise routines focus on both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Slow-twitch muscles use energy slowly and create endurance, while fast-twitch muscles provide short, powerful bursts of energy.
Slow-twitch pelvic floor muscles help you hold your bladder, so you dont have to head to the bathroom as frequently. Fast-twitch pelvic floor muscles protect against bladder leaks, like those that happen when you lift something heavy or cough.
A thorough Kegel exercise routine includes daily workouts for both your slow-twitch and fast-twitch pelvic floor muscles.
Prevent And Treat Chronic Conditions
Many chronic conditions can also affect your bladder. For example, if you have uncontrolled diabetes, there may be sugar in your urine, which can increase urinary leakage. Also, untreated vascular disease and other conditions can cause damage to the nerves to your bladder.
Making sure these diseases are controlled may prevent worsening of bladder function over time. If you have any urinary incontinence, talk with your doctor, says Dr. Garmon. They can help you find the cause of your incontinence and find a treatment that works best for you.
Common Bladder Problems And When To Seek Help
Bladder problems can disrupt day-to-day life. When people have bladder problems, they may avoid social settings and have a harder time getting tasks done at home or at work. Common bladder problems include urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.
Some signs of a bladder problem may include:
- Inability to hold urine or leaking urine
- Needing to urinate more frequently or urgently
- Cloudy urine
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating
- Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating
- Trouble emptying the bladder
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider.
Treatment for bladder problems may include behavioral and lifestyle changes, exercises, medications, surgery, or a combination of these treatments and others. For more information on treatment and management of urinary incontinence, visit Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults.
S To Encourage Bladder Movement
The urinary bladder is a hollow muscular organ in the body that acts as a collection and storage area of the urine after it passes through the kidneys. If its not functioning properly, it may cause complications like urinary tract infection and kidney stones, or it could be connected to bowel incontinence. Bowel and bladder health go hand in hand, which is why its important to know ways to regulate bowel movement as well, like we tackled in a previous here on Bladder & Bowel.
1. Water is always the best for fluid intake Drinking the recommended six to eight glasses of water every day has a lot of benefits like boosting energy, and it also positively affects bladder health by promoting the flushing of toxins from your body. The British Nutrition Foundation recommends that at least half of the liquids you consume should be water, but depending on a pre-existing condition you may have, you could have a different recommended amount of intake.
2. Moderate caffeine and alcohol intake The key here is moderation, because caffeinated drinks, soda, and alcohol can fill your bladder much faster due to their components. Limit your intake, especially if youre out and dont have immediate access to a bathroom.
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How To Overcome Bladder Weakness
If you want to go about your day worry-free, there are pelvic floor muscle exercises and yoga poses that can help you treat bladder weakness. Studies have shown that these exercises can restore the strength of the weakened muscles in the pelvic floor and bladder, which may disrupt normal urinary function in adults.i To strengthen these muscles, you need to learn how to relax them.ii
In this article, we will show you to how to perform 5 beginner-friendly bladder weakness exercises, including some yoga poses.
Kegel Exercises And Muscle Training
You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. Its also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications.
To do Kegel exercises:
You can also talk to a physical therapist to see if youre squeezing the right muscles.
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Weak Bladder: A Short Note
A weak bladder is a condition where we need to quickly rush to the restroom frequently or that we leak while we require to go to restroom. Over active bladder is the medical term for a weak bladder.
Our bladder is just a bag that is made of muscles and when the bag fills with urine, its lining stretches. Then, nerves send messages to the brain that tell that you require going to the loo. This bladder lining is too sensitive and it can get irritated quite easily or can become overactive very easily. Generally, caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks, and fruit juices can result in a weak bladder.
In order to strengthen weak bladder, we need to make the lining of the bladder become less sensitive or it requires being less active.
Setbacks To Regaining Bladder Control
Dont be discouraged if you get setbacks day to day, or even if you have to start over. Think positively and keep trying. It does get easier with practice. Keep in mind that sometimes people doing bladder training find that things get worse before they get better, especially if there are setbacks due to:
- Being tired or run down
- Illness, including colds and flu
- Urinary tract infection
Poise has a range of products that can help while you are trying to improve your bladder control. While you are working on improving the capacity and strength of your bladder, there may be setbacks. To ensure the least amount of fuss, use Poise products to prevent any embarrassing leaks.
Remember to seek medical advice from a doctor if you have any concerns about the symptoms or other issues related to bladder control.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from a qualified health care professional with any questions regarding your concerns.
Read Also: How Can I Relax My Bladder Naturally
Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises Regularly
Pelvic floor muscle training in the form of Kegel exercises is known to strengthen the muscles supporting the urinary bladder.
Kegel exercises are particularly popular among women as these exercises also help the uterus and the rest of the organs in the pelvic region. Nonetheless, men can also greatly benefit from this training, especially managing or preventing urine leakage.
When you do Kegel exercises regularly, you increase your bladder control. In this sense, you can prevent urinary incontinence. This condition is characterized by the sudden urge to pee or leaking a few drops of urine whenever you sneeze, cough, or laugh.
Moreover, you can also control fecal incontinence or stool leakage.
Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects
Lifting heavy objects puts strain not only on the back and knees but also on the pelvic floor muscles. Without proper support from pelvic muscles, stress incontinence and OAB with or without urge incontinence can occur.
For this reason, people should avoid lifting heavy objects if they can. If they do need to lift something, they should practice their pelvic floor exercises before and during the lift to help support the muscles in and around their bladder.
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Mistake #: Not Drinking Enough Water
Many urinary complaints are related to poor hydration. Generally speaking, if your urine is clear or very light, that’s a sign you are drinking the right amount of water. If your urine is dark yellow or amber, that’s usually a sign of dehydration.
Odor, an “off” color, and the sense of burning while voiding are other signs that might indicate you are not properly hydrated. Not drinking enough water can contribute to UTIs and kidney stones. Concentrated urine can irritate the lining of the bladder, making it more sensitive. It is also more likely to form kidney or bladder stones.
Many patients ask if drinking alternative fluids will suffice, but many beverages contain high sugar concentrations or caffeine, which can have other health effects, says Dr. Brito, noting these might make overactive bladder symptoms worse. Water is the safest option to maintain hydration and keep your kidneys and bladder healthy.
There are some conditions that can make your urine appear more concentrated even if you are well-hydrated, such as liver problems or hematuria. So, if you are drinking enough water but have dark-colored urine, odor, or burning, its worth a trip to a urologist, who can evaluate your symptoms more closely.
“The ability to urinate freely and without difficulty is taken for granted by most people,” says Dr. Brito. So, next time you have to go, follow the above advice for better urinary health.
Notice The Difference Within 3 To 6 Months
As we all know, results dont happen overnight. You may start to notice the difference after consistently doing these exercises for 3 to 6 months. You may then regain control of your bladder, have fewer accidents, and able to do more repetitions. They may also help minimise your risk of associated complications, such as emotional distress and sleep deprivation.
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Anticholinergic Drugs For Oab
The largest class of drugs used to treat OAB is anticholinergic drugs. They work by blocking a chemical in your body called acetylcholine. This chemical sends a message to your bladder to contract. By blocking this chemical, these drugs reduce the contractions that cause you to release urine. In studies that compared the drugs, all anticholinergics worked in treating OAB.
Anticholinergics are sold under different brand names. Some are also available as generic drugs. These medications include:
All of these drugs except for Oxytrol come as either tablets or capsules that you take by mouth. Oxytrol is available as a skin patch.
The most common side effects of anticholinergic drugs include:
- dry mouth
- blurry vision
Seniors have the greatest risk of side effects from these drugs. These medications may also cause drowsiness and an increased risk of falls in seniors. Oxybutynin may cause more side effects than the other drugs in this class. However, taking oxybutynin in its extended-release form may reduce some of the side effects. Anticholinergics may also worsen dementia symptoms and should be used with caution in people with this disease.
Ways To Improve Your Bladder Health
Last month, we focused on preventing bladder problems, and now we are continuing National Bladder Health Month by addressing ways you can improve your bladder health. Many people living with bladder conditions arent aware of the various treatment options available to them. While treatments depend on the type of urinary incontinence or bladder condition you have, one of the specialists at Alliance Urology can help you identify the right treatment plan for you. In this blog, were explaining some of the most common treatment options that can help you improve your bladder health.
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