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Water is important to bladder health

The Woodward News - 11/12/2022

Nov. 12—Bladder Health Month is observed every year in November to highlight the importance of the urinary bladder, various disorders and diseases that affect it and how to treat them.

The urinary bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis, just above and behind the pubic bone. When empty, the bladder is about the size and shape of a pear.

You can observe Bladder Health Month by going for a checkup. This ensures that you keep your bladder healthy and can quickly detect any anomaly.

Local Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Michelle Johnson, says, "drink an appropriate amount of water, around 64 ounces per day. Think of the bladder as a balloon that fills up. The more that we're filling it up all the way, the stronger those muscles that are used to hold urine in, are going to get."

The bladder is lined by layers of muscle tissue that stretch to hold urine. The normal capacity of the bladder is about 16 ounces for two to five hours.

"Typically, a person should be able to hold their bladder for between two and four hours. A fun fact is that is why movies were made to be two hours long. That was the time frame that they knew people could usually hold their bladder and not have to miss any of it to use the restroom."

Some common bladder conditions include: — Cystitis: Inflammation or infection of the bladder causing acute or chronic pain, discomfort, or urinary frequency or hesitancy. — Urinary incontinence: Uncontrolled urination, which may be chronic. Urinary incontinence can result from many causes. — Interstitial cystitis is often mistaken for a urinary tract infection, but there is no infection. — Overactive bladder: The bladder muscle squeezes uncontrollably, causing some urine to leak out. Detrusor overactivity is a common cause of urinary incontinence.

If you are having trouble with urgency, frequency, pain or pressure then seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist may be a good non-surgical option.

"After women have babies, we can have some laxity of the tissues. That hammock of muscles that is the pelvic floor can lead to things like prolapse. Providers recommend surgery, hysterectomy and things as a first line of treatment because they don't know that pelvic floor therapy can help with things like that. We can recommend ways to assist before things get to that point," she said.

Scar tissue is another thing that can cause bladder issues. From C-section to abdominal hernia techniques can be used on yourself to break that up. "When those layers heal back together, you can get scar tissue and it can attach to the bladder and everything below it. You can get pulling on the bladder or restrictions to where the bladder can't fully empty. More surgery would cause more scar tissue. Healing scar tissue is best just after surgery but it can still be worked on no matter how long it's been," she said.

Breathing management and yoga is another key factor in pelvic floor health. Your diaphragm is at the top and that pressure pushes on your pelvic floor. If there is weakness, you get leaks. "The goal is to get those muscles to coordinate together. When you inhale a deep breath, your pelvic floor relaxes and that can help using the restroom. You do the opposite of that with an exhale upon exertion to help activate that deep core for stabilization and help prevent hernia or prolapse," Johnson said.

Another thing you can do to help this month is to spread awareness with bladder health month posts on social media. It also serves as a reminder to drink water when someone sees a post.

To learn more about bladder health, visit


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