Tried-and-tested tips for dealing with an overactive bladder
An overactive bladder isn’t just something you have to ‘put up with’ and small lifestyle changes can make a big difference
If you find yourself rushing to the loo, having ‘accidents’ or being nervous to cough, laugh or exercise, you’re not alone. In fact, 1 in 3 women suffer from urinary incontinence.
The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to make life easier on yourself.
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and give you more control when you need it.
Try to do them three times a day and remember you can do a few whenever you get a chance like when you’re sitting in traffic or waiting in a queue.
Keep your weight under control
Being overweight can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and put more pressure on your bladder.
Not only could ditching those excess pounds improve your symptoms, but you may even see them disappear altogether.
Be smart when it comes to exercise
A lot of women with a sensitive bladder avoid exercise because they’re worried about leaks. This is a real shame because, not only is exercise vital for your overall health, but it also helps when it comes to keeping your weight down and strengthening your pelvic floor.
Try low impact sports such as cycling, yoga or Nordic walking and be cautious of abdominal exercises like sit ups, crunches or plank which place a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor.
If you feel like you’re always running to the loo, it can be tempting to really cut down on the amount you drink thinking that this will help. But while drinking an excessive amount of water is bound to make you want to pee more frequently, not drinking enough isn’t a good idea either. This is because it increases the odds of bladder irritation (because your pee is so concentrated).
But not of the wrong things
Okay, so we’ve established that it’s important to keep hydrated but it’s still worth being sensible about what you drink, since caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks can all cause your bladder to misbehave.
It’s probably not realistic – or desirable! – to cut out these drinks altogether but it does make sense to limit your intake and maybe try to avoid them later in the evening.
Don’t rush things
When we’re rushing about and we have to go to the loo AGAIN, it’s easy to try to get in and out of the bathroom as quickly as possible! However, it’s really important to take the time to empty your bladder fully.
It’s worth noting here that hovering over the loo (like so many of us do when we’re out and about and not sure how clean the loo is!) can make it more difficult to fully empty your bladder.
A little help
Always Discreet is a range of pantyliners, pads and underwear specially designed to help women with sensitive bladders to stop worrying about leaks and get on with their lives.
Make an appointment with your doctor
As well making these little tweaks to your lifestyle, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor who’ll be able to advise you on the various treatments on offer.
Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence!
Do you have any tips for dealing with a sensitive bladder? Let us know in the comments section below.