Some of you are thinking: why would I even need to say this…. “yuck! I would never do that”. If that is the case then just keep on keeping on! If you are someone who struggles with urge incontinence; that annoying sensation that you always need to pee even though you JUST went! Then read on!
if you ever felt the nice sensation of peeing in the shower, I bet that you generally (who am I kidding… ALWAYS) feel the urge when in the shower, near the shower, when you hear water running, when you see a fountain, if you think of a lake or even a puddle…… Get the picture?
Just like Pavlov trained dogs to salivate to the sound of a bell, you just trained your brain to trigger the “urge to pee” response when you felt relief when you peed in the shower or lake or ocean. Crazy eh? Yes, It can be that simple! Something so silly can lead to such annoying incontinence!!!
A healthy bladder can hold one and a half to two cups (300-400mls) of urine during the day and about four cups (800mls) at night. It is normal to pass urine five or six times a day if you drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid. Your brain usually gets the 1st signal that there is actually liquid in your bladder when there is approximately 1/2 of a cup there.
When you are in the viscous cycle of urge incontinence you need to train yourself to not go to the bathroom at the 1st sign of that ”urine in the bladder signal” So, When you get that annoying urge to pee and you know that you really don’t NEED to pee because you JUST peed not too long ago, I am going to encourage you to tell your brain that it is ”fake news” and you need to reinforce the fact, with your brain, that you really DON’T need to pee. I know that the urge feels intense and real! BUT I bet you that when you go pee that there is less than a half of a cup and sometimes only drops!! FRUSTRATING isn’t it!
You will be able to get rid of your urge incontinence by re-training your brain-bladder signaling relationship. You will need to make the decision to not give into the urge. You will also need to purposefully make the decision to delay the time before you actually do go to the bathroom. I KNOW… It is going to feel impossible at first, but if you work at it progressively and consistently you will succeed at taming the sometimes painful and embarrassing dysfunction.
Whether your trigger is water or anything else such as the key in the door or a certain location or situation, start to notice these triggers. The mere realization that these are ONLY triggers and they are really FAKE news situations may help you accelerate the process of getting rid of this life sucking problem.
Here are a few ideas to help you re-train your brain and body to keep you from constantly seeking bathrooms or peeing yourself:
- Get the urge? Hey brain: this is news… not urgent news, no need to panic, chill… talk to me again later!
- Check the time and give yourself the goal of re-visiting the need to pee in 1,2,3,5,10, 120+ minutes
- Do 2 or 3 little pelvic floor contractions and move out of the position you are in; walk away from where you are, stretch your legs, your arms and or neck etc . Do a squat, take deep breaths, shake your head, get busy with something interesting…
- Congratulate yourself when you catch yourself realizing that you are in control, even if that control is one extra minute!
Join my Pelvic Floor Tune-up programs for more of these lovely insights and the strategies that you can use to resolve your incontinence issues!