These are symptoms that can occur when someone has urinary urgency/frequency and/or urge incontinence.
People dealing with these symptoms will limit water intake, avoid social situations, and go to the bathroom ‘just in case’ throughout the day. However, despite how overwhelming the symptoms may seem, bladder retraining is an effective way to pee less frequently and stop leaking.
You start with a bladder diary. Some things to include are bladder fluid intake, when you urinate, strength of the urge, how much you urinate, and if there were any leaks.
By looking at the time between trips to the bathroom, we figure out how often you are urinating and determine the usual shortest interval that you could go without leaking urine. Looking at this diary, there were 1 hour and 2 hour intervals. Leaking occurred when the interval was 2 hours. The shortest usual interval was 1 hour that no leaking occurred. Therefore, this is where this person would start, going to pee about every hour.
If you are successful, then you add 15 to 30 minutes to your interval. For this diary, that would be a goal of 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Once again, if you can make the new interval and not leak with an urge for several days, increase again by 15 to 30 minutes. This continues until you reach 3 hours or a comfortable amount of time for you. An expectation of 6 to 12 weeks to reach your goals is average.
Other tips and tricks for stopping leaks and urinating less often:
A pelvic therapist can help you with a bladder diary and guide you through bladder retraining. In addition, being able to perform a kegel can be an important part of your program, and a therapist can make sure your kegel is effective. Together, we can quickly get your life revolving away from your bladder!
Women's Health in Physical Therapy. Jean and Glenn Irion.Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, ©2010
Evidence-Based Physical Therapy for the Pelvic Floor. Kari Bo. Elsevier. 2015
New year's stretch goal
By Michelle Dela Rosa, PT
Have you ever made too many New Year’s resolutions? Sometimes things spin so out of control during the holidays that there’s too many things to fix! Or the laundry list is full of things we didn’t get to complete (or start) in 2022. Maybe it’s time to just pick one thing and focus our efforts. Me, I’m going to stretch more. Well, technically I’m stretching all day when I’m with patients, but that’s not the same as stretching for myself. One of my favorites is starfish pose, shown beautifully by our own Marzena Bard, PTA.
I know that I won’t be successful though without a plan, so I’m setting aside certain times to do just two stretches (yes, I need to make the goal achievable!).
I hope this article can help some of you take steps toward meeting your New Year’s resolutions, like eliminating bladder leakage related to urgency, overcoming trauma, and understanding connections between altered eating habits and pelvic health.