If you’re female, you’ve likely at one point or another experienced the discomfort associated with UTIs and other bladder problems. A bad urinary tract infection (UTI) can literally feel like hell on earth. So knowing what steps to take to promote bladder and urinary tract health can ward off these evil infections that can range in severity from pesky to horribly painful.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Proper hydration is essential to staying healthy across the board, but drinking the right amount of fluids is a real bonus as far as bladder health is concerned. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily is recommended, and adhering to this guideline for H20 intake can help flush the urinary tract of harmful bacteria that can lead to infections. That said, listen to your body. If you’re plagued with the constant need to empty your bladder all day, you may need to cut back. You’ll also want to avoid too much coffee or caffeinated sodas, which can also cause you to urinate with more frequency.
Go For a Walk
Being sedentary can cause fluid retention, and often in the lower body. This comes into play sometimes with folks who sit a lot during the day or work in office settings and spend much of the workday at their desks. This fluid retention can cause a host of issues, one of which is overactive bladder at night. You can counter this by going for walks. If you can, get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour to avoid problems that can arise from too much sitting. If this isn’t possible, at least try flexing your calf muscles from time to time, or raise your legs to waist level.
When You Go, Really GO
When you do void your bladder, it’s important to do your best to empty it completely. Women in particular are prone to UTIs, but you can reduce the risk of infection by voiding fully. If you stop the stream, or don’t finish urinating, urine that didn’t escape can move back up into the bladder bringing harmful bacteria with it. No bueno. You can also help keep bacteria away from the urethra by wiping front to back. If you don’t use this method already, we implore you to change your ways.
Kegels Are Your BFF
Okay maybe not your BFF, but they are really important! Just like you go to the gym to keep your legs and arms and core toned and healthy, you want to keep those pelvic floor muscles strong! Kegels will help strengthen the muscles necessary for proper bladder control. Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but you can prevent those symptoms by being mindful of your overall bladder and urinary tract health.
Pee After Sex
Just do it, ok? Intercourse is a major contributor when it comes to contracting UTIs. Flush any harmful bacteria away from the urethra with a quick trip to the loo after you have sex. It’s also super important to make sure everything is clean down there before you and your boo do what you do. It might not be ideal to stop in the heat of the moment, but being mindful of these things can go a long way to help avoid the pain and discomfort that comes with infections.
Be Mindful of Diet
What you eat and drink can have a huge impact on your overall bladder health. A lot of women have bladder pain as well as urgency and frequency issues that can be reduced with diet changes. Many women also suffer from Interstitial Cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition that often manifests itself with pelvic pain and countless trips to the ladies room. Whether you deal with this specific condition or not, the foods and drinks you consume can majorly affect your bladder. Typically acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes can cause flare ups in women with IC, but diet changes, yoga, and other treatments like physical therapy, can help with managing the symptoms.
These tips can really make a difference in quality of life! It’s smart to take a holistic approach to wellness, and be mindful of all the details of your daily life, how they fit together, and how they affect your health overall. If you have any questions about how physical therapy can help with bladder, urinary tract, and pelvic floor issues, we are happy to answer them! Get in touch here.