Do This – Not That: Taking Control of Your Bladder
Think back to your childhood when you played outside for hours with your friends, running, skipping, and hoping all around the neighborhood and parks. That bladder of yours held gallons of liquid in a vise, so you didn’t give a bathroom a second thought – and certainly didn’t know where the closest potty could be found at any given moment.
Unlike your younger self, you now know where every bathroom within a 10 mile radius of your home is located. That’s because despite your best efforts, you may dribble no matter how careful you are. Sneezing, coughing, moving, and even reading about the bladder makes it leak. It’s gotten so lazy it doesn’t seem to hold even a teaspoon of liquid before you start to feel dampness. Forget going all day without visiting a bathroom. Even a “quick” trip to the store for a gallon of milk involves a couple restroom stops and you still might not stay dry. It’s downright embarrassing and time consuming.
Age and menopause have made things tricky for your bladder, but you have some options. You may not stop leaking overnight, but following these tips can help you take back some control of your bladder.
- Talk to your doctor.
- See a urogynecologist.
- Get educated about your diagnosis.
- Do your Kegels – faithfully.
- Consider pelvic floor physical therapy to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
- Lose some weight.
- Watch your diet.
- Empty your bladder completely.
- Retrain your bladder – ask your doctor for tips.
- Create a bathroom schedule.
- Consider wearing a device – tampon, Poise Impressa, or pessary.
- Ask about medications.
- Use estrogen therapy.
- Don’t overdo exercises – you could make things worse.
- Don’t irritate your bladder with caffeine, carbonation, alcohol, acidic foods, and spices.
- Don’t overdo it on the liquids, but do stay hydrated.
- Don’t chow down on salty foods.
- Don’t rush into surgery – but don’t discount surgery either.
- Don’t strain during bowel movements.
- Don’t lift heavy objects.
- Don’t give up.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Do This – Not That: Taking Control of Your Bladder