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Things you can do to make bladder management easier and improve bladder health.

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Using intermittent catheterization is the preferred treatment when you are not able to empty your bladder normally. Besides catheterizing 4-6 times a day, you should consider the following options for bladder management: 

If you are not completely dependent on catheters there are ways to exercise the bladder:

Pelvic floor exercises

Some people experience bladder conditions that may improve with pelvic floor exercise. Pelvic floor exercises or kegels are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help reduce urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises are equally relevant for women and men. Do it when you are waiting in line, when you watch TV, read a book, in the shower or whenever you can fit it into your daily life. You will need to do the exercises daily and it may take up to several months before you see a significant improvement. You can use this pelvic floor exercise program to get started on training of that little important body area.

You can also get different apps for your smartphone, which can help you remember or make it more fun to do the exercise. Ask your healthcare provider if pelvic floor exercises might be beneficial for you.

Bladder retraining

Some people are able to retrain the bladder to help reduce urinary incontinence, by aiming to gradually stretch the bladder so that it can hold larger volumes of urine. Scheduling bathroom visits and delaying urination could be part of that technique. Ask your healthcare provider if bladder retraining is right for you. Bladder retraining can be combined with using a bladder diary. You can download a bladder diary here or create your own.

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For some people managing symptoms may include lifestyle changes, such as modifying the diet to reduce constipation and reduce the amount of caffeine drinks. Timing fluid intake at certain times can also be helpful so the need to urinate is more convenient and doesn’t coincide with going out or sleeping at night, but still keep in mind that you need to drink around 6-8-oz glasses (1.5-2 liters) of fluid a day. (unless you have a medical condition that may limit your fluid intake)

Medication

Drugs are prescribed for all types of bladder issues. Talk with your healthcare provider regarding the use of medication.

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