How to talk to your doctor about your sensitive bladder

Bringing up bladder problems with your GP might feel awkward, but it’s the first step to a diagnosis and accessing the treatments and advice that could improve your quality of life. Here’s what to expect from your appointment…

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Does the thought of bringing up your sensitive bladder with your GP leave you squirming with embarrassment? It really shouldn’t, as GPs will be accustomed to dealing with such issues because a weak bladder in women is very common. Here’s what to expect from your visit…

How do I bring up the subject of bladder problems?

Finding a way to talk about a sensitive bladder can feel awkward, so consider saying something like: ‘I have to use the toilet a lot more’, to encourage your doctor to ask you further questions. The kind of thing you could expect your doctor to ask include: ‘When do you experience urinary losses?’ and ‘How often do you go to the toilet?’

How will the GP examine me to diagnose a weak bladder?

Be prepared to lie down for a physical examination where your doctor will ask you to cough so that they can inspect the way your abdomen contracts, and check the firmness of your pelvic floor.

How is a weak bladder in women diagnosed?

Once the examination is over, your doctor will let you know whether you’re the bladder problems you’re experiencing are due to muscle weakness, and if you’re experiencing urge incontinence (when you have a strong need to urinate but can't reach the toilet in time), stress incontinence (when you experience bladder leaks when coughing, sneezing or laughing) or a mixed incontinence.

Why should I make an appointment now to discuss bladder problems?

Talking to your doctor about sensitive bladder symptoms will help you look for solutions together. From pelvic floor exercises to bladder retraining or medication, there is a range of solutions available that your doctor can talk to you about. No matter which solution you decide upon, rest assured that there are incontinence products to support you while you make a decision, and you can learn more about taking care of a sensitive bladder here.

How do you cope with a weak bladder?
Let us know in the comments below.