I’m a physiotherapist and here’s why you should never go for a ‘just in case’ pee
WE’VE all been there.
You’re just about to head out and you think ‘shall I just go for a quick pee just in case’.
Three in four women with stress incontinence could resolve their symptoms with a simple physio rehab programme[/caption]
It’s the worry that you might be on your way to your destination and suddenly need to urinate – and it always happens when there’s not a toilet in sight.
Well if that sounds like you, then you’re not alone.
According to Incontinence UK, around seven million Brits suffer with the condition.
It does affect women more, with around 700,000 suffering with light incontinence at the end of their pregnancy.
The NHS states that there are different types of incontinence, with one of the most common being stress incontinence.
This is when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure, for example when you laugh or when you cough.
However, three in four who suffer with this could resolve their symptoms with a simple physio rehab programme.
Here’s six ways you can do this by strengthening your pelvic floor. . .
1. Stop going to the toilet ‘just in case’
The bladder is a holding tank and should only empty when it’s full.
One of the easiest ways to help our your pelvic floor is to stop going for a ‘just in case pee’, pelvic health physiotherapist Esther Stubbs said
Esther said: “By peeing frequently you are training your bladder to want to empty when it isn’t full.”
Other experts have warned that by doing this, you’re actually making your bladder more sensitive.
Prof Stergios Doumouchtsis, a leading expert in urogynaecology based at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust said the bladder learns to give you signals of fullness at lower volumes.
“The purpose of the bladder as a reservoir for urine can become compromised, and therefore the bladder will start needing the toilet and sending you signals of urgency too early, when the volumes of the bladder are lower, or more frequently.
“The bladder won’t necessarily become anatomically smaller. But functionally it is smaller.
“Therefore it can affect our activities because we become more engaged to the bladders’ calls.”
2. Get a pelvic check
Invest in a pelvic health check by a physio to see what’s going on.
Esther said: “Kegels aren’t the answer for everyone – and in cases can worsen problems.
“It’s important women get checked out to see what their individual needs are.”
3. Avoid irritation
Esther said: “Substances like alcohol, caffeine, citrus and carbonated drinks irritate the bladder lining, making you feel like you need the toilet more frequently. Consider cutting them out.”
4. Learn the ‘knack’
The “knack” 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 preventing leakage at these dangerous moments.”
5. Consider diet
Doctor Ghazala Aziz-Scott, women’s health specialist at the Marion Gluck Clinic, said: “A diet high in fibre will prevent constipation as persistent straining can also weaken the pelvic floor.”
6. Hormone health
Your hormones may need checking too.
Dr Aziz-Scott said: “Women in the menopause can consider taking HRT and reverse the oestrogen deficiency that makes the pelvic floor weaker.
“Local vaginal oestrogen cream is really helpful in keeping vaginal tissues healthy and preventing laxity.”
When to see a GP
The NHS states that if you are suffering with urinary incontinence then you should see your GP/
It’s a common problem and while it’s delicate, you shouldn’t be embarrassed.
Getting checked can be the first step in helping you find personalised ways to manage the problem.
Urinary incontinence can usually be diagnosed after a consultation with a GP, who will ask about your symptoms and may do a pelvic or rectal examination, depending on whether you have a vagina or a penis, guidance states.
Source of data and images: thesun