Bladder weakness

When your bladder leaks involuntarily, you have bladder weakness. The formal medical name for this is urinary incontinence. This subject is very rarely discussed, despite the fact that it is a surprisingly common and quite often a daily occurrence for many men and women.

What is the cause of bladder weakness?

Weakened pelvic floor muscles are the most common cause of bladder weakness, and they are weakened due to pregnancy, childbirth or through the ageing process. Around 25 percent of women over the age of 35 experience bladder weakness. Whatever its cause, in the majority of cases it can be cured and bladder weakness can always be managed.

What can I do about bladder weakness?

Work on keeping your bladder healthy. With a few extremely simple exercises, your pelvic floor is strengthened and you can actually reduce or clear your bladder weakness altogether.
How you can maintain a healthy bladder:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Cut down on both alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks
  • Manage your weight because extra weight might put extra strain on your pelvic floor muscles
  • Never strain when emptying your bladder. Relax, take your time and sit with a hollowed back
  • Get the right balance. Do not hold off for too long when you feel you want to urinate, but also try not urinate ‘just in case’. A good average to aim for is 4 to 8 times per day
  • Do regular pelvic floor exercises to improve your bladder control

If you are using bladder weakness pads then you will need to use 3 pads each day on average. If you are using more than 3 pads, then choose a higher absorbency pad
Know when to seek help. If you experience pain when emptying your bladder or find blood in your urine, then see your IPSA physician

How should I do the pelvic floor exercise?

First, you need to locate the correct muscles to work on:

  • Try to imagine stopping yourself from passing urine mid-stream
  • When you tense at that point, the muscles that you should be able to feel are your pelvic floor muscles
  • Do not tighten your buttocks or squeeze your legs together
  • Breathe normally and do not hold your breath

Build strength in your pelvic floor muscles by:

  1. Sitting, standing or lying with your legs slightly apart
  2. Tightening and slowly pulling up your pelvic floor muscles as hard as you are able to
  3. Holding this position tight for as long as possible (start out by holding for 5 seconds)
  4. Repeating this process 5 times
  5. Then pulling up these the muscles quickly and tightly, and immediately letting go
  6. Repeating this process 5 times
  7. Repeating all the above steps 10 times every day

Keep going and do not give up.
You need to continue these exercises for a few weeks before you see an improvement in your bladder control
It takes a couple of months for your muscles to reach their full strength. It is therefore worth persevering because this is the easiest way for you to regain the control of your bladder. Prior to that, remain in control by using pants or pads to protect yourself from unwanted leaks