If you have an overactive bladder of are managing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), orders to stay indoors might be a bit of a blessing. The stress of being out and needing to urgently find a bathroom is no longer a concern.
Using this time effectively, however, can help you build a stronger bladder so when life gets back to normal, you’ve got better bladder control. Solidifying some habits and making a few changes might help relieve the uncontrollable urge to go to the bathroom.
Paying attention to fluid intake is the best place to start. Of course, you’ll want to shoot for the recommended 8–10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Hydration is essential for maintaining normal bodily functions and immunity. Consumption patterns, however, require some management.
Some ways to manage fluid intake include:
- Avoid drinking in the evenings. Have your last beverage with dinner.
- Minimize the amount of carbonated or caffeinated drinks you consume. After morning coffee or tea, try to go caffeine-free for the rest of the day.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Have a drink in the mid-afternoon or with dinner, but avoid evening drinks or “nightcaps”
- Limit yourself to one eight-ounce serving of fluid at a time. Don’t, for example, have a cup of coffee and glass of water going at the same time.
- Sip beverages slowly. The faster your bladder fills, the more likely you will experience extreme urgency to go to the bathroom.
Managing fluid intake is still only part of the battle in taming an overactive bladder or enlarged prostate. There are also some behaviors you can adopt in an attempt to train your bladder.
- Time your bathroom trips so that you’re going to the bathroom even if you don’t have the urge, Stick to this schedule so your body falls into a rhythm.
- If you have BPH, go when you first have the urge. Try implementing a schedule after that first urge, and take the time to fully empty your bladder.
- If you don’t have BPH and experience an urge, try to hold out until your next scheduled urination time. As your body adjusts, you can set these scheduled bathroom trips further apart.
Lastly, if you don’t have BPH, you can also try various exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. These include Kegel exercises and contracting, and holding, pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds. Aim to hit about 90 repetitions throughout the day.
Using this time to work on bladder control and monitor symptoms of BPH without the stress of needing to be out and about can be very helpful. Take advantage so when you can get back outside you can truly enjoy it.