Urinary frequency and urgency are very common issues. If you’re usually going more often than that, or are always needing to know where the toilet is wherever you go, it is possible to train your bladder to be a better reservoir by using your pelvic floor muscles.
What is “overactive” bladder?
The bladder can become irritable or “overactive”, making you pee more often. This could be due to habit, if you often empty the bladder before it is full. If your bladder never fills up, it doesn’t ever expand and can become smaller over time. But this can be reversed! You can use your pelvic floor muscles to train your bladder to hold more urine before you need to pee.
It is important that you first get checked by your family doctor, and assuming there is no infection or other medical reason, you can get some help from a pelvic health physiotherapist, who has advanced training in working with pelvic floor muscles and other structures in that area.
What to do?
If you feel you need to urinate more than every 2 hours, try not to go with the first urge you feel.
When you do feel the urge to pee:
- be still (standing or sitting) and tighten up through your pelvic floor muscles
- try to distract your brain at the same time with something else
Doing this can help settle down the urge to urinate. If after a minute or two you still need to go, try to walk to the toilet slowly. If the urge to pee has settled down, try to delay going until you feel an urge again. Over time you are trying to lengthen the time between visits to the toilet.
A physiotherapist trained in pelvic health can help to improve these issues further, by listening to your own experience and making a plan forward that is individual to you. If you continue to struggle with urinary frequency or urgency, speak with your physio about this.