Helpful Facts for a Healthy Bladder
The bladder is a phenomenal organ made up of mostly muscle. The bladder muscle squeezes and helps force the urine out of the body through the urethra, which is shorter in women. The bacteria from the outside have a shorter distance to travel in women leaving them more prone to bladder infections than men.
Incontinence is the loss of bladder control. When the bladder muscles tighten, urine is forced out through the urethra, and the sphincter muscle of the urethra must relax to complete the outward flow of urine. When the sphincter muscles are not strong enough to restrict the stream after the bladder muscle tightens, incontinence may occur causing the leaking of urine. Urinary incontinence may also occur if there is a problem with the nerves that control the bladder and urethra.
Stress incontinence is when there is increased pressure in the abdomen, which suddenly puts stress on the pelvis causing leaking to occur, which could be due to sudden laughing, sneezing, or coughing.
- Being overweight – If a person has extra weight on their body, it puts added pressure on the bladder and over time may weaken the bladder muscle.
- Long-term constipation – Over time, the added stress and pressure on the bladder may debilitate the muscle.
- Caffeine – Due to the diuretic properties of caffeine, the bladder may fill more rapidly causing possible leaking to occur.
Healthy Tips for Prevention
- Changing eating habits – Incorporating a healthier diet, including higher fiber content foods, will help in weight management as well as relieving constipation problems. Decreasing caffeine and alcohol while increasing water intake will also help improve bladder health.
- Pelvic floor muscle training – This type of conditioning will help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, further reinforcing bladder stability.
Contact your physician if you have any concerns about your bladder health.