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10 Healthy Tips to Help Improve Bladder Control
- Use the toilet regularly. Make toilet facilities convenient – this may mean a bedside commode, bedpan, or urinal placed within reach.
- Wear clothes that are easy to remove when it is time to use the toilet.
- Train your bladder. Use a clock to schedule times to toilet. Every hour, then every 1 – ½ hours, etc., until you achieve a satisfactory schedule. Avoid frequent trips to the toilet “just in case.”
- Remain at the toilet until you feel your bladder is empty. Do not rush. If you feel there is still some urine in the bladder move around, or stand up if you were sitting, sit back down and lean forward slightly over the knees.
- Empty your bladder before you start on a trip of an hour or more. Do not try to wait until you get home or until it’s more convenient.
- Learn to squeeze before you sneeze – and before you cough, laugh, get out of a chair, or pick up something heavy.
- Establish regular bowel habits. Constipation affects bladder control.
- Consider avoiding foods that are known to affect the bladder, such as tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, and beverages, including alcohol, and those containing caffeine. These make the bladder more irritable and therefore increase the chance of incontinence.
- Watch your weight. Obesity makes bladder control more difficult. Ask your regular doctor about a sensible diet if you are overweight.
- Stop smoking. Smoking has been listed as a risk factor for bladder cancer, and it is irritating to the bladder. Also, a smoker’s cough may cause bladder leakage.