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Complete Bladder Training Guide For Urinary Incontinence

Complete Bladder Training Guide For Urinary Incontinence

Back when I was pregnant, a good sneeze would drench my pants. My life revolved around frequent trips to bathrooms and any long journey had to be chartered out with the whereabouts of restrooms along the way. There was even a party where I resorted to wearing a diaper rather than embarrass myself with a leak.

This fear of embarrassing leaks had me staying at home rather than going out and enjoying life with friends or family. I thought it would be fine after the delivery, but even afterwards, it took months of pelvic exercises to tighten the bladder muscles before I was able to leave the house confidently. Urinary incontinence is a reality for more people than you might think. For those of you currently going through it, here is the guide for you:

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Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Many people hide their bladder control issues and find it difficult to discuss it even with their doctors. Identifying the cause and treating it can provide you with the right solutions and you can walk around with your head held high, free from caring about your bladder woes.

The involuntary loss of urine, or urinary incontinence, is more common in women than men. It usually occurs after childbirth and menopause.

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Urinary incontinence is classified into four types:

  1. Urge incontinence: Your bladder contracts even when it’s not full and you often feel a sudden, strong urge to go to the bathroom. You might find urine trickling down even before you reach the toilet.
  2. Stress incontinence: Coughing, sneezing, laughing, or any sudden pressure on your abdomen can cause you to accidentally pee.
  3. Mixed incontinence: When stress combines with urge incontinence, you know you’ve lost the war. It’s best to be armed with diapers if you are out for long periods.
  4. Overflow incontinence: Urine leakage can arise even after a visit to the loo if the bladder was not emptied completely.

Ways to Train the Bladder

Bladder retraining is usually the first treatment doctors suggest for bladder control problems. This is a kind of behavioral therapy that helps you regain control over your urination. It gradually trains your bladder muscles to hold in urine for more and more periods of time to prevent leaks and emergency bathroom incidents. Bladder retraining can also be used as a treatment for children who bed-wet.

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  • Schedule bathroom visits: Jot down in a diary every time you go the bathroom and make a schedule by adding 15 minutes to that time. Even if you don’t actually feel the urge to go, visit the bathroom at each scheduled visit. Slowly try to increase the time between bathroom breaks.
  • Delay urination: Even if you feel the urge to urinate, try to hold on until the scheduled time for the bathroom visit. If you find it feels too urgent, try to delay it for five or ten minutes by distracting yourself. Try counting backwards from 100 to one or use deep breathing relaxation techniques. Even if you ended up rushing to the bathroom for an unscheduled visit, you still have to stay on the schedule and make a visit at the next scheduled time slot.
  • Kegel exercises: Using a combination of pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, with other bladder retraining techniques has been found to be effective in treating urinary incontinence.

To do Kegels, you must squeeze the muscles, pretending you are holding them to stop the flow of urine. Start with a five-second hold and release, then work up to holding these pelvic muscle contractions for 10 seconds each, with 10 second rest periods in between. You can do three sets of 10 contractions every day.

To improve your success with bladder retraining, you can try out these different variations of Kegels and strengthen your pelvic muscles:

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kegels
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    You can also watch this excellent video that explains all that you need to know about doing Kegels correctly.

    Conclusion:

    In addition to journaling your bathroom breaks and practicing Kegels, limit caffeinated beverages, like sodas, coffee, and tea, that increase urination. Avoid fluids as bedtime nears and go to the bathroom one final time before heading off to sleep. Bladder training helps you hold on for longer periods of time between bathroom visits, giving you control over the urge to go.

    Bladder retraining takes time and might take anywhere between six to 12 weeks to see results. If there is no improvement despite several weeks of bladder training, then your doctor might advise medication or even surgery to treat urinary incontinence.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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