5 Habits for a Healthy Bladder
Stop going “Just In Case”!
Or “JIC-ing”: going pee just because. Ladies, you have to stop this! When you JIC, you’re teaching your bladder bad habits! A normal bladder will start to send “I have to go” signals when it’s about half full. When you JIC, your bladder can become more sensitive to filling, and will start to send “I have to go” signals earlier! You’ll FEEL like you have to go more often, even though your bladder’s volume hasn’t changed.
2. Don’t test your kegels while peeing!
While it’s tempting because you get immediate feedback, don’t test your kegels while you’re peeing! Urination should be PASSIVE. Your pelvic floor muscles have to relax fully in order for the urethra to open and allow urine to flow out of the bladder. If you contract your pelvic floor muscles in the middle of urinating, the bladder can get confused and think it’s time to stop emptying. This can potentially create a pattern of incomplete emptying. It also can potentially lead to UTIs if urine gets trapped in the urethra. Yikes!
Luckily, there are many other ways to test your kegels. A pelvic floor physical therapist is specialized in testing pelvic floor muscles, but you can also get feedback by kegeling around a vibrator, your own finger, a partner’s finger, or a partner’s penis!
3. Drink Enough Water!
I couldn’t write a list of healthy bladder habits without talking about hydration. A lot of women don’t drink enough water just because they don’t want to be running to the bathroom all the time! That is crazy! Start upping your water intake by a little bit each day, eventually working up to half your body weight in ounces (approximately, this may need to be increased if you’re breastfeeding or have lost a lot of sweat during a workout). If you increase your water intake slowly enough, the amount of times you go to the bathroom shouldn’t change!
4. Sit on the Toilet!
Who is guilty of hovering over a gross toilet before? Me for sure, but don’t do it! Hear me out: remember earlier when I said urination should be PASSIVE? If you are hovering over a toilet in a squat position, your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and pelvic floor muscles are contracting isometrically to keep that position. It is quite difficult to get those pelvic floor muscles to relax while everything else in that area is contracting. So please, put some toilet seat covers down and SIT DOWN!
5. TAKE THE TIME!
We live in a world of go, go, go - we don’t even have time to sit on the toilet and urinate! I again, am guilty of trying to pee faster so I could get back to whatever I was doing. I’m here to tell you, take the full 20-30 seconds it takes to pee. Again, peeing should be PASSIVE. If you are straining to try to get your pee out faster, you are most likely bearing down, putting excess pressure downward onto your pelvic floor and pelvic organs. This could start to create a weakness in the ligaments that hold up your pelvic organs and could put you at risk for a pelvic organ prolapse and/or poor emptying habits. It’s not worth it!
This is just a short list of some easy habits YOU can start to integrate into your life today for a healthier bladder. If you have any questions about this list or need more help with your bladder or pelvic floor muscles, please do not hesitate to post a comment below, contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @glowptandwellness on Instagram and Facebook.