Everyone is taught from an early age how to hold their urine until they are able to reach a restroom. While most people are able to make it to the bathroom on time, some suffer from a weak bladder that prevents them from fully controlling their urges. The control of the bladder is mainly held by the brain, but it is also controlled by the bladder itself. For example, if your bladder is not completely full, your brain can tell the muscles not to contract, therefore allowing you to hold your urine. Even a healthy bladder that is overfull will not be able to resist emptying its contents when there is no more space available. Outside of these two parameters, weak bladders defy the brain's control and the body's control regardless of how full or empty it may be.
How To Fix A Weak Bladder
A weak bladder can be embarrassing but there are options to help fix the problem. Depending on the cause of your bladder issues, surgery or medication may be helpful in correcting urinary incontinence. Medical intervention is usually the last resort, instead, those with a weak bladder can first try reducing their fluid intake or exercising their pelvic floor. We have put together a list of suggestions on how to fix a weak bladder if you prefer to explore other options aside from medical intervention.
What Causes A Weak Bladder?
Incontinence can be a result of any number of health issues. It is common for women to suffer from bladder control problems following childbirth while older men and women simply lose control due to their age. Men of any age may suffer from bladder problems if they have a health condition that affects their prostate. Accidents, trauma, and even certain medical conditions can also contribute to the development of a weak bladder.
In addition to being socially awkward, a weak bladder can leave the skin open to infections due to constant moisture. People who suffer from weak bladders often are depressed and socially withdrawn. This is mainly due to embarrassment and the hesitation about seeking help with the problem.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are three main types of urinary incontinence, each of which can be treated in various ways. Stress incontinence is not emotional but rather based on pressure. This is the most common form that can affect anyone of any age. This form typically causes leaking urine when someone laughs, coughs, or moves in unexpected ways. When extra pressure is placed on the abdomen, this pressure pushes down on the bladder causing leakage. In most cases, the extra pressure is absorbed by the urethra, but with a weak bladder or pelvic floor, the compensation won’t be enough.
Tips To Help Strengthen A Weak Bladder
Smoking is bad for your health, but it also puts a lot of strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Quitting smoking and vaping is a great step towards increasing the strength of your bladder. Avoid certain high impact activities that can add pressure on your pelvis or your bladder. Sit-ups and HITT exercises are two examples that can increase bladder leakage. Instead, focus on aerobics, jogging, and strengthening exercises. You should also make a point of avoiding heavy lifting until you have successfully built up your pelvic wall.
Mind Your Weight & Bowels
Excess weight can cause your pelvic floor muscles to weaken. In turn, your bladder muscles will become weak which can lead to accidents and leakage. The fatty tissue from extra weight adds pressure to your bladder that pelvic floor exercises alone can’t combat. Losing weight can help reduce the symptoms of a weak bladder and in many cases cure the problem completely. In addition to your weight, it is also important to eat well-balanced meals with plenty of fiber. Constant bouts of constipation can add pressure on your bladder due to the extra strain placed on your digestive system. The harder you have to work to evacuate your bowels, the weaker your pelvic floor muscles will become. Consider changing your sitting position on the toilet to aid with bowel movements and reduce the pressure on your bowels.
Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises (kegel exercises) are a great way to strengthen muscles surrounding the bladder, support the bladder, and reduce the loss of urine. It is important to choose the right exercises and to perform them correctly. Working with a trained physiotherapist is the best way to strengthen your pelvic floor in the right manner. Just keep in mind that this method takes time, just like any other exercise, in order to see lasting results. Most people are able to reduce or stop leaks as early as three months after starting their sessions.
Pay Attention To Your Liquids
When it comes to the bladder, it is important to pay attention to any and all liquids you consume. Reduce your intake to help better manage accidents, especially when you are outside of the home. You should also avoid coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine because it can irritate the bladder. Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and soda among other places. Since it has the most effect, it will trigger more sudden urges that may be harder to control with a weak bladder.
Reducing alcohol consumption is also recommended. In addition to increasing weight gain, it is also a diuretic. The last thing you want to consume with a weak bladder is something that will cause you to go to the bathroom more often. Although you should limit your intake of other fluids, it is important to increase your water intake. Make sure you are getting eight to ten glasses per day of plain water.
ADULT PEDIATRIC UROLOGY & UROGYNECOLOGY
The attentive, compassionate physicians, providers, and staff at Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology are committed to providing innovative, quality patient care in our state-of-the-art facility.
From screening and prevention to treatment and recovery, our health professionals will be there for you. Our team of dedicated physicians has been serving residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota for more than 25 years.