If your daily exercise consists of running to the bathroom because you have to urinate, you probably have a bladder condition. Problems associated with the bladder can occur more often the older we get as the bladder muscle becomes weaker. This is generally more prevalent for women because childbirth, too, can contribute to a leaky bladder. Whatever the underlying cause for your urgent sprints to the bathroom, it can really take a toll on your life.
Urination urgency can keep you cooped up in your home from fear of a public accident. You might avoid heading to the movies because your frequent trips to the toilet have you getting up in the dark and missing most of the film. You might also say no to road trips because you fear there won’t be enough stops along the way. But you don’t have to let your frequent urination urges take over your life. In fact, you can very well take back control of your bladder and once and for all show it who’s boss.
Tips to reduce trips to the bathroom
Log your bathroom trips
Before you get started on taking back control of your bladder, it’s a good idea to document your trips to the bathroom to uncover any patterns. Do you go more in the afternoon after lunch or numerous times prior to bed? By jotting down when you go you can see ways to better prevent it.
Aside from documenting when you visit the bathroom, you should also write down what you have had to eat or drink and even what activities you have done. Furthermore, by keeping a log you can better track your progress to see if you are improving.
Wait five minutes
If you feel the urge to go, don’t run to the bathroom – instead try to hold off for at least five minutes. You can better hold in your urine by contracting your Kegels just as you would if you were conducting the exercise.
By waiting those extra minutes you are retraining your mind to have more control than your bladder. As they say, “mind over matter.”
Lastly, deep breathing can also help you get through those extra five minutes without having an accident.
Listen to your body
A technique called biofeedback involves the use of a mechanism that provides you with feedback that may otherwise be difficult for you to be aware of. The goal is to become more in tune with your body, so even if we explain how to work on your Kegels, you may not actually understand how to do so.
For women, a tampon-like device is inserted and when you attempt to contract your Kegels, you are given visual or auditory feedback in order to confirm or deny that what you are doing is correct. The feedback can better help you control your pelvic floor muscles.
If you made a goal to elongate the time between trips to the bathroom, you’re documenting how often you pee, you’re strengthening your Kegels all the time and yet you still aren’t seeing many results, be patient.
Experts suggest it can take close to three months to reach your bladder goals and along the way you may experience setbacks. Progress can vary with each individual and all cases are different. That is why patience truly is a virtue when it comes to your bladder – it takes work.