If you are living with bladder incontinence you might feel like it is an issue that you have to live with for the rest of your life. While you may always want to wear your Incontinence Panties or Incontinence Briefs for your own comfort and security, you might be interested in the concept of retraining your bladder. It is possible to retrain your bladder in order to increase the amount of time between using the bathroom to empty your bladder. Some people who battle with incontinence have found that retraining their bladder is helpful, but it is important to recognize that it is a lengthy process that is highly dependent on several individual factors.
Tips for Bladder Retraining
- To start, resist the urge to empty your bladder. According to the Bladder and Bowel Foundation, this is the first step in teaching your brain that you do not need to go to the bathroom every time you get the urge. If you give in to the urge every time, your symptoms will tend to get worse over time. Remember, start slowly and don’t let it get too painful.
- Learn when exactly you need to go to the bathroom by keeping a diary. Keep a notebook in your bathroom or start a file on your smart phone. Keep track of when you drink liquids and then write down every trip to the bathroom. This will help you get a visualization of your bathroom habits.
- After you have analyzed your diary, set your goals. The key is to start small. If you go to the bathroom every 30 minutes, you won’t want to push yourself to go 2 hours in between bathroom trips. Instead, the Interstitial Cystitis Association recommends you try to go 45 minutes between bathroom breaks for at least a month. At that point, you can increase the amount of time you push yourself in between trips to the restroom.
- Be patient and recognize that this can be a lengthy process — it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Depending on the strength of your bladder and the severity of your incontinence issues, this process can take several weeks or it can take several months. It is an exercise in patience, but many people feel that it is well worth it in the long run.
- Do Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen the walls of the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are easy to do, and are discrete as well. You can do them while sitting at your desk, while watching TV, or even while driving your car. Do them often, as the more you do them the stronger your muscles will be. Ultimately, it will help you on your journey to retrain your bladder.
Retraining your bladder can provide the results you have been waiting for, but it is important to realize that there is no such thing as overnight success when it comes to these types of programs. You will want to work with your health care provider to come up with a plan of action that is right for you and your individual situation. On average, it can take up to three months to retrain your bladder in order to increase the amount of time in between bathroom breaks. You may have setbacks along the way, but it is important to focus on the successes that you have had. A positive attitude and perseverance will help you get through this process. In the mean time, you always have your Incontinence Panties or Incontinence Briefs to keep you comfortable, dry and free from embarrassment.