Millions of women - and men! - in the U.S. suffer daily with a bladder that holds them back. It may be a small (or not so small) leak of urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, or lift something heavy. Or maybe it’s the need to go so frequently that you avoid going certain places where a restroom won’t be conveniently available or you won’t know where it is. It may even mean losing precious sleep due to your bladder waking you up repeatedly during the night. For some people there is even discomfort or pain when the bladder is filling up. In any of these situations, life is no fun with a “weak bladder.”
But is it really true that you simply have a weak or small bladder? I hear this quite often - usually from women, lamenting their “small bladder” that they share with their mother, aunt, or even best friend. The truth is that the vast majority of people’s bladders are actually quite similar in size and capacity. What can be different from one person to the next, is how well it functions to do its job – being able to fill and store urine, and hold it even under pressure without leaking! There are many reasons for this difference, including, of course, pelvic floor and abdominal muscle health, as well as overall health and physical condition. But what you may not know is that what can really vary a lot from one person to the next and lead to such different bladder behaviors are also - bathroom habits!
“What do you mean?” I hear you say. “Doesn’t everyone just go to the bathroom the same way?” Not by a long shot! And new evidence suggests that the following restroom practices are likely to lead to trouble down the road. Here they are, and what to do instead:
If you have any concerns about your bladder function or questions that have not been adequately answered for you so far, just reach out to us for a courtesy phone consultation. We’re here to get you back to you running your life, not your bladder!
Kowalik CG, Daily A, Delpe S, Kaufman MR, Fowke J, Dmochowski RR, Reynolds WS. Toileting behaviors of adult women: What is healthy?
J Urol. 2018 Jul 24. pii: S0022-5347(18)43591-4. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2018.07.044. [Epub ahead of print]
Helping health-oriented people overcome pelvic health problems, and live the life you love!
Deborah S. Cohen
Specialist Pelvic Health Physical Therapist