Bladder Training

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What is bladder training?

Bladder training is a behavioral technique used to treat people who have stress incontinence, urge incontinence or a combination of the two (called mixed incontinence).

Stress incontinence is when urine leaks because of sudden pressure on your lower stomach muscles, such as when you cough, laugh, lift something or exercise.

Urge incontinence is when the need to urinate comes on so fast that you can't get to a toilet in time.

Your doctor will help you determine which type of incontinence you have and whether bladder training can help you.

Some people with urge incontinence can learn to lengthen the time between urges to go to the bathroom.

You can practice relaxation techniques when you feel the urge to urinate before your time is up. Breathe slowly and deeply. Think about your breathing until the urge goes away. You can also do Kegel exercises if they help control your urge.

You start by urinating at set intervals, such as every 30 minutes to 2 hours - whether you feel the need to go or not. Then gradually lengthen the time between when you urinate - say by 30 minutes - until you're urinating every 3 to 4 hours.

After the urge passes, wait 5 minutes and then go to the bathroom even if you don't feel you need to go.

If you don't go, you might not be able to control your next urge. When it's easy to wait 5 minutes after an urge, begin waiting 10 minutes. Bladder training may take 3 to 12 weeks.

How can bladder training help?

Bladder training can help in the following ways:

  • Lengthen the amount of time between bathroom trips.

  • Increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold.

  • Improve your control over the urge to urinate.

Where do I start?

Ask your doctor to help you develop a bladder training program. He or she may ask you to keep a bladder diary to record how much and how often you urinate during a 24-hour period. This information will help your doctor create a treatment program that's right for you.

During your bladder training program, your doctor may have you keep track of the number of urine leaks you have each day. This will help you and your doctor determine whether bladder training is helping.

Listed below are examples of several different bladder training methods. Your doctor may recommend 1 or more of these methods to help control your incontinence.

Kegel exercises: These are exercises that help strengthen the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine.

Delay urination: Some people who have urge incontinence can learn to put off urination after they feel the urge to go.

Start by trying to hold your urine for 5 minutes every time you feel an urge to urinate. When it's easy to wait 5 minutes to urinate, try to increase the waiting period to 10 minutes. Gradually lengthen the waiting period until you're urinating every 3 to 4 hours.

When you feel the urge to urinate before your time is up, it may be helpful for you to practice relaxation techniques. Breathe slowly and deeply. Concentrate on your breathing until the urge goes away. Doing Kegel exercises may also help you control urges.

Scheduled bathroom trips: Some people control their incontinence by going to the bathroom on a schedule. This means that you plan times to go to the bathroom, whether you feel the urge to urinate or not. For example, you might start by going to the bathroom every hour. Then gradually increase the time between bathroom trips by 30 minutes until you find a schedule that works for you.

Remember, bladder training often takes 3 to 12 weeks. Don't be discouraged if you don't have immediate results or if you still experience some incontinence.

What else can I do?

You may find it helpful to change your diet. Alcohol, caffeine, foods high in acid (such as tomato or grapefruit), and spicy foods can irritate your bladder. Talk to your doctor if you think your diet may contribute to your incontinence.

Some people find that limiting how much they drink before bedtime helps reduce nighttime incontinence.

Losing weight if you are overweight can also help reduce incontinence.

Are there other ways to treat incontinence?  Will medicine or surgery help?

Yes. Medicines or medical devices can treat some types of urinary incontinence. For example, estrogen cream to put in the vagina can be helpful for some women who have mild stress incontinence. A medicine called oxybutynin (brand name: Ditropan) can be used for urge incontinence and too-frequent urination.

In some cases, surgery may be an option. Treatment depends on what type of urinary incontinence you have and what is causing the problem.  It is usually done if other things haven't worked or if the incontinence is severe.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions    

Bladder Training
Kegel Exercise
Overflow
Self Catherization
Stress
Urge

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