Do you feel like you’re the expert on all the bathrooms on your daily walking route? Does one glass of wine send you running to the bathroom? Are you peeing multiple times just in case before your flight takes off?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions, this is the blog for you.
It’s a new year, let us teach you how to be the boss of your bladder.
So what is normal frequency?
The bladder takes a few hours to fill after drinking. The absolute minimum time between voids is 2-3 hours.
At night, you should urinate no more than once.
What can I do about it?
You can retrain your bladder to increase capacity and decrease sensitivity.
Here’s how to start
Make a log for two days where you track how frequently you urinate.
Mark down the times and amount. To keep it simple, you can track the length of your void in seconds.
If you’re peeing for 3 seconds, that’s much too short.
Writing down what you ate and drank can also help you identify some triggers for frequency and or urgency.
Next, create a goal for length between voids.
For example, if you currently go every hour, two hour intervals may be an appropriate goal to start.
You’ll take baby steps to get there.
For the first few days, try to increase your time between urination by 15 minutes from your baseline.
To do this, you’ll use something called an urge suppression technique. You will use the technique of you get the urge to go before your designated voiding time.
IE if your starting intervals are one hour and 15 minutes, but you get the urge to go only 30 minutes after you last went.
With urge suppression, you try to distract your brain from the signals your bladder is sending that “it’s time to go.”
You can try a couple deep diaphragmatic breaths, some heel raises, or a set of five Kegel exercises.
See if the urge disappears or diminishes. If you still have the urge after 5 minutes, calmly walk to the restroom. The clock then restarts, and in the example above, your next time to void is one hour and 15 minutes later.
Once you can do this for 3-4 days comfortably, you can increase your interval by 15 minutes until you reach your end goal. .
Should I cut back on fluids?
Many people try cutting back on water to decrease frequency, but urine that’s too concentrated can irritate your bladder and make things worse.
Some foods and drinks can be bladder irritants. Irritants include seltzer, coffee, tea, spice, and chocolate.
Everyone’s irritants can be a little bit different.
And one note on just in case.
Remember when you were a kid and your parent told you to make sure you go “just in case” before hopping in the car?
That “just in case” going creates a bad habit where your bladder and brain anticipate that you’ll need to go even if the bladder isn’t full.
Confused? A pelvic floor specialist can really help you out here.
In fact, we really do recommend getting an expert opinion and thorough evaluation. Pelvic floor muscle tension can increase frequency and make it hard to empty your bladder.
Are you ready to retrain your bladder? Give us a call and book your evaluation with one of our pelvic floor specialists today.