I’m a physiotherapist and here’s why you should never go for a ‘just in case’ pee

MAYBE this scenario sounds familiar to you… you’re about to leave the house and hurry to the bathroom “just in case”.

If so, you could be putting yourself at risk of incontinence, experts warn.

Three out of four women with stress urinary incontinence could resolve their symptoms with a simple physical rehab program


Three out of four women with stress urinary incontinence could resolve their symptoms with a simple physical rehab programPhoto credit: Getty

Around seven million Britons are struggling with the debilitating condition, according to Incontinence UK.

Women are affected more often than men, around 700,000 suffer from mild incontinence at the end of a pregnancy.

The NHS states that there are different types of incontinence, one of the most common being stress urinary incontinence.

Urine leaks when your bladder is under pressure, such as when you laugh or cough.

There is hope, however, as three out of four people who experience stress urinary incontinence could find relief from their symptoms with the help of a simple physical rehab program.

Here, the experts reveal six ways you can do just that by strengthening your pelvic floor. . .

1. Stop going to the bathroom “just in case”

The bladder is a holding tank and should only be emptied when it is full.

One of the easiest ways to help your pelvic floor is to stop “peeing just in case,” said pelvic floor physical therapist Esther Stubbs.

Esther said, “By peeing frequently, you train your bladder to want to empty when it’s not full.”

Other experts have warned that by doing this you are actually making your bladder more sensitive.

Prof Stergios Doumouchtsis, a leading expert in urogynaecology at the NHS Trust at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, said urinating “just in case” means the bladder learns to give you signals of fullness at lower volumes.

“The purpose of the bladder as a urine reservoir can be compromised, and therefore the bladder will start needing the toilet and send you signals of urgency too early if the volume of the bladder is less or more frequent.

“The bladder does not necessarily become anatomically smaller. But functionally it is smaller.

“As such, it can affect our activities because we become more involved with the calls of the bubbles.”

2. Do a pelvic check

Invest in a pelvic health check by a physical therapist to see what’s going on.

Esther said: “Kegels aren’t the answer for everyone – and in some cases can make problems worse.

“It is important that women are examined for their individual needs.”

3. Avoid irritation

Esther said: “Substances like alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits and fizzy drinks irritate the lining of the bladder and make you feel like you need to go to the toilet more often.

“Consider cutting them out.”

4. Learn the trick

The “pinch” is a simple technique of squeezing your pelvic floor just before you cough, sneeze, jump, or laugh.

Esther said: “This closes the bladder neck sphincter and prevents leakage at those dangerous moments.”

5. Consider diet

dr Ghazala Aziz-Scott, a women’s health specialist at Marion Gluck Clinic, said, “A high-fiber diet helps prevent constipation because prolonged exercise can also weaken the pelvic floor.”

6. Hormonal Health

Your hormones may also need to be checked.

dr Aziz-Scott said: “Menopausal women can consider hormone replacement therapy and reverse the estrogen deficiency that weakens the pelvic floor.

“Local vaginal estrogen cream is really helpful in keeping vaginal tissues healthy and preventing laxity.”

When to see a family doctor

If you suffer from urinary incontinence you should see your GP, advises the NHS.

It’s a common problem and while it’s touchy, don’t be ashamed.

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Getting screened can be the first step in helping you find personalized ways to deal with the problem.

Urinary incontinence can usually be diagnosed after a consultation with a GP, who will ask you about your symptoms and may perform a pelvic or rectal exam, depending on whether you have a vagina or penis.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/6900872/pelvic-floor-expert-never-just-in-case-pee/ I’m a physiotherapist and here’s why you should never go for a ‘just in case’ pee

Emma James

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