If you're post-menopausal, you probably know about the night sweats and the hot flashes. However, you might not know that menopause can also cause bladder control issues. Part of the reason for this is because your vaginal tissue loses its elasticity. If you're suffering from post-menopausal bladder control issues, you should know that help is available. Talk to urologists about the treatment options that can help you overcome your bladder problems. In addition to the treatment provided by your doctor, here are four steps you can take to regain control of your bladder.
Monitor Your Fluid Intake
If you have a problem with post-menopausal bladder control, it's important that you monitor your fluid intake. Too much water throughout the day can leave you searching for a restroom at the most inopportune times. Unfortunately, if you don't drink enough water, your bladder may go into hyper-drive in order to get rid of the excess waste create by dehydration. If you drink a lot of water each day, try cutting back on your intake. If you only drink a minimal amount of water throughout the day, try adding to your daily intake of water. A good rule of thumb is to try and follow the eight times eight rule – eight, 8 ounce servings of water each day.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine intake is linked to bladder incontinence. In fact, one study has found that women who consume high amounts of caffeine are 70% more likely to develop bladder control problems than women who limit their caffeine intake. You can help prevent bladder control problems by reducing your daily caffeine intake.
Make Friends with Kegels
Exercising your vaginal muscles can help reduce bladder control problems. To improve your bladder control, you should add kegels to your daily exercise routine. The great thing about kegels is that you don't need special equipment and you can do them anywhere – even while you're standing in line at the grocery store. If you're not sure how to do kegels, here are some simple instructions.
- Tighten your pelvic muscles like you're trying to stop the flow of urine.
- Hold the contraction for about 5 seconds and release.
- Repeat the 5 second contract and release for about 2 minutes.
- Now, contract and release in 10 second intervals.
- Continue the 10 second contract and release for another 2 minutes.
- Repeat the exercise several times a day.
Get Your Bladder on a Schedule
One of the problems with bladder control issues is that you never know when the urge is going to hit. You can help train your bladder by putting it on a schedule. Start with a schedule that is realistic for you. For instance, if you find that the urge normally hits somewhere between every 30 – 45 minutes, schedule a bathroom break at around the 30-minute mark. Make sure you go even if you don't have the urge. Once your bladder adapts to the schedule, you might be able to avoid the unplanned urges.
If you suffer from bladder control problems, hope is not lost. The tips provided here will help you regain control of your life and your bladder. Be sure to speak to your urologist about treatment options that might be available to you.