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  • Janette O'toole

Bladder 101

November is National Bladder Health month.

Here are some top tips for women to keep their bladder healthy!

1) Don't go to the toilet if you don't need to go.

Many girls and young women are taught to empty their bladders before they leave the house. Instead, listen to your body and pay attention to your natural urges. Your bladder works best when it can tell you when it needs to be emptied, rather than the other way around! 2) Please don’t hover and sit down on the loo.

Your bladder empties much better if you are seated and relaxed on the toilet. You cannot get an infection from a toilet seat. If you are worried, use a disposable toilet seat cover or toilet seat wipe. 3) Do not push or strain to empty your bladder.

Instead sit, lean forward and rest your elbows on your knees. Take your time and let your bladder empty itself.

4) Constipation can contribute to bladder problems such as urgency and incontinence.

The bowels have a direct effect on the bladder. Make sure you are drinking adequate fluid (1.5 to 2L), exercising regularly and eating plenty of fibre (such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrains). 5) Leaking is not normal.

You don’t have to put up with leaking. Help is available. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can give you exercises and advice that can help.

If you have any specific concerns or are experiencing any bladder symptoms, such as urinary frequency, urgency, waking up several times a night needing to void, incontinence or difficulty emptying your bladder, a pelvic floor physiotherapist may help you with this. This is a physiotherapist who has undertaken postgraduate training in this area and is able to provide specific advice to help you. They can also assess your pelvic floor and may give you exercises which can help with this problem.


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