Do You Know How to Pee?  - Legacy Physical Therapy
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Do You Know How to Pee? 

Do You Know How to Pee Blog Graphic copy

Did you know that approximately 50% of women over the age of 65 will have bladder leakage at some point? Bladder leakage can happen at any time, people often consider it an “old lady issue” but it can affect people at any age. 

Many people don’t know what is considered normal bladder habits. Normal bladder habits include:

      • Going to the bathroom every 2-4 hours during the day
      • Nighttime frequency is getting up from 0 to at most 1-2 times per night 

    We want to make sure YOU are in control of your bladder and not have your bladder be in control of you. The most common example of this is what we call “jic’ing” or just in case peeing. This is when you pee “just in case” you need to go run an errand or before you leave the house, in case you go out and are not going to be by a bathroom.

     In reality, the best thing for your bladder is waiting until it gives you an urge to empty your bladder. This does not apply if you are going to get on a plane or take a long car ride or about to enter a 2 hour meeting, where you can’t get up to go to the bathroom for more than 2 hours. Having the habit of going to the bathroom just in case, trains your bladder to tell you that you have to go to the bathroom more often than not. 

    Another factor that affects whether or not you develop an urge to go to the bathroom is intake of certain foods and beverages: 

      • Alcohol, soda, coffee or carbonated beverages
      • Spicy or acidic foods 

    These can have an impact on your bladder giving you stronger urges to go. If you find that your bladder has a tendency to give you strong urges with certain foods, limiting these can make a big difference for people. 

    One thing that people tend to do on the flip side when they are dealing with bladder urgency or frequency is deciding to cut fluids and not drink near as much as they should be during the day. This is actually going to lead to your urine being more concentrated which will irritate your bladder making you have an even more urge response. 

      • If you are having trouble incorporating more water into your day try to sip on it instead of chugging. Sometimes having a straw can make it easy to grab a quick sip vs. feeling like you have to drink a bunch at one time. 

    We want to take the time to educate you on what to do when you are actually in the restroom going to the bathroom.

     

    1. Make sure you are not hovering when you go to the bathroom. Do not squat over the toilet, you need to sit down to pee. When you hover it prevents the pelvic floor muscles from relaxing fully which can lead to not emptying the bladder fully. This can lead to you straining or pushing to pee which weakens the muscles and creates a dysfunctional emptying pattern.

    TIP: if you are in a public place and do not want to sit fully down we recommend carrying wipes or seat liners so you can fully sit down to pee. 

    2. Make sure you are fully relaxing your pelvic floor to pee. Do not do kegels while peeing or push to pee, this can mess with the bladder and muscle coordination and lead to not fully emptying the bladder.

    TIP: The next time you go to the bathroom, sit down and take 5-10 deep breaths and let the pee just happen.

    The last thing we want to highlight is bladder leakage is common but is NOT normal. If you leak, know that it is not something that you have to live with. Your pelvic floor muscles may need some strengthening or education on how they can coordinate better. You may need to learn how to retrain your bladder because your bladder has you trained. The best thing you can do is partner with a pelvic floor physical therapist to figure out what is going to work best in your situation.

     If you feel like you could use some training to ensure that your bladder is not running your life, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a discovery call.