Do you suffer from the uncomfortable sensation of needing to pee frequently? Do you find yourself constantly searching for the nearest bathroom, planning your day around bathroom breaks, or even avoiding certain activities altogether due to the fear of not being able to find a restroom when necessary? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, but the good news is that there are ways to improve your bladder control! This article will explore several tips and tricks for holding your pee, helping you gain confidence and reclaim control over your body.
II. Control Breathing
Controlling your breathing can help distract your mind and body from the sensation of needing to pee. When we feel anxious or stressed, our body goes into fight or flight mode, and this can exacerbate the urge to urinate. Taking slow, deep breaths can calm your mind and body, reducing any anxiety you may feel and taking your focus off your bladder.
To control your breathing, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly and steadily through your mouth. Repeat this process for a few minutes, concentrating on your breathing and nothing else. You may find it helpful to visualize a calming image or repeat a mantra to yourself.
III. Take Small Sips
While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking small amounts of water throughout the day can actually help increase your bladder control. By gradually training your bladder to hold more urine, you can reduce the frequency and urgency of your bathroom breaks.
Instead of gulping down large amounts of fluids at once, try sipping water or other beverages frequently throughout the day. Start by drinking small amounts every 30 minutes or so, and gradually increase the time between sips as you become more comfortable. You may also want to avoid drinks that can irritate the bladder, such as caffeinated or carbonated beverages, and stick to water or herbal tea instead.
IV. Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to urinary incontinence, but the good news is that these muscles can be strengthened through exercise. Kegel exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow, can improve your bladder control and reduce the risk of leaks.
To perform Kegel exercises, start by identifying and isolating your pelvic floor muscles. You can do this by stopping the flow of urine midstream or by imagining that you’re trying to hold in gas. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, contract them for 5-10 seconds, and then relax them for an equal amount of time. Repeat this process for 10-15 repetitions, several times a day. As your muscles become stronger, gradually increase the duration and frequency of your contractions.
V. Plan Your Bathroom Breaks
Establishing a routine for bathroom breaks can help train your bladder to hold more urine and reduce the urge to go at inconvenient times. Try to establish a schedule for bathroom breaks, taking note of the times when you typically feel the strongest urgency to pee. You may also want to incorporate deep breathing or other relaxation techniques when you feel the urge to help reduce stress levels.
Keep in mind that the amount of time between bathroom breaks will vary from person to person, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your schedule accordingly. If you feel the urge to go outside your scheduled times, try to hold off for a few minutes if possible, gradually increasing the time between bathroom breaks over time.
VI. Practice Delaying Tactics
Similar to planning your bathroom breaks, practicing delaying tactics can help increase bladder capacity and reduce the urge to pee. Instead of rushing to the bathroom at the first sign of urgency, try to hold off for a few minutes, distracting yourself with other activities in the meantime.
Some examples of delaying tactics include deep breathing, pelvic floor exercises, or simple distraction techniques. For example, try counting backwards from 100 or reciting the alphabet backwards in your head. As you become more comfortable with these tactics, gradually increase the amount of time between bathroom breaks, taking note of your progress and adjusting your schedule accordingly.
VII. Reduce Fluid Intake
While it’s important to stay hydrated, excessive fluid intake can contribute to the need for frequent bathroom breaks. If you find yourself struggling with bladder control, it may be helpful to adjust your fluid intake to a more moderate level.
Experts recommend drinking at least 8-10 cups of fluids per day for optimal health, but this may vary depending on your individual needs. Keep track of your fluid intake and bathroom breaks for a few days, noting any patterns or triggers that may be contributing to your urinary symptoms. You may also want to discuss your fluid intake with your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.
VIII. Use the Restroom When You Need To
While delaying tactics and planned bathroom breaks can help increase bladder control, it’s important to listen to your body and use the restroom when you need to. Holding in urine for too long can not only be uncomfortable, but it can also increase the risk of urinary tract infections and other complications.
If you’re in a situation where you’re unable to access a restroom, try to find a private place to relieve yourself if possible. For women, a portable urination device such as a female urination device may be helpful in these situations. These devices allow women to urinate in a standing position, making it easier to go outdoors or in public restrooms.
Urinary incontinence and overactive bladder can be inconvenient and embarrassing, but with the tips and tricks provided in this article, you can improve your bladder control and regain your confidence. Remember to control your breathing, take small sips of water, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, plan your bathroom breaks, practice delaying tactics, reduce fluid intake, and use the restroom when you need to.