Bladder weakness is common and 1 in 4 women are found to be suffering from it, and it can happen at any age. The symptoms may include a frequent urge to urinate, urinating often and incontinence where the person cannot control the urine leaking out during activities like laughing, sneezing or coughing. Doctors have observed that making a few changes in your lifestyle can help lessening the effects of bladder weakness.
- Drink Normal Quantity of Fluids – It may seem sensible to cut down on your fluid intake to reduce the frequency of urination but it, in fact, works the other way. With lesser fluid intake the urine becomes more concentrated and may irritate the bladder. It is advisable to keep the fluid intake normal, between 6-8 glasses per day though caffeine, cola and alcohol consumption needs to be kept in check since they are all diuretics. Diuretics increase the urine production in the bladder thereby increasing the frequency of urination.
- Manage your weight – If you are overweight, it is likely that you are suffering from bladder weakness. Excessive weight puts pressure on the bladder thus increasing the urge to urinate. Reducing your weight will help in taking care of incontinence.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking puts stress on the bladder muscles because it increases coughing. This will lead to bladder weakness over a period of time since the pelvic floor muscles are affected. So if you smoke, quitting may be the answer.
- Exercise – To a large extent, bladder weakness is a direct effect of the loose pelvic floor muscles. Doing pelvic floor exercises or Keegels a few times every day will help. Pelvic floor exercises will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help you control the urge for frequent urination. For mild to moderate cases, this is the first step practiced by physiotherapists.
- Make Access to the Toilet Easier – Make getting to the toilet as easy as you can so that when you get the urge to ‘go’, there is free access. Wearing loose clothes may help as then you do not have to struggle in haste.
- Medical Intervention – In cases where all the above factors are not effective, it is advisable to use drugs or surgery (only in extreme cases) to get relief. Absorbent bladder weakness products, commonly called adult diapers, which are specially designed to safeguard from urine leakage and odor can be quite useful. They come in different sizes and ranges of absorbency. Prescription drugs taken under the direct supervision of an urologist is also a possible solution for bladder weakness.
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