Join the conversation with Dr. Lee McCauley in our most recent video series on Pelvic Health.


All right, Lee, can you go through with us about the bladder training?

Okay, so basically with the bladder there’s some sensors on the inside of it and they respond to stretch and any kind of chemical irritation. They can respond to concentrated urine.

So briefly talk about maybe some bladder irritants.

[00:00:26] So coffee, tea, soda, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, tomatoes, citrus and alcohol, all the best things. They can irritate your bladder. And what’ll happen is that sends a signal to your brain that it needs to empty. And so usually you’ll notice that you have to urinate more frequently when you have those things. Or you may or may not have notice but if you realize that those are irritants and you can make the connection. The other thing those sensors respond to is stretch. So sometimes if we feel the urge to pee and those sensors are stretching a little bit, again, it’ll send a signal to your brain to empty your bladder.

[00:01:04] But if we habitually give in to that, and you’re going pee really frequently, so if you’re going pee more than eight times a day, seven, eight times a day. Well more than once at night. Then you might have some bladder training issues that you need to work on. You just can’t make it so there are some techniques that you can try that will help you suppress that urge. So generally, the urge to urinate, it usually goes in a bell curve. So I’m going to feel the urge and then it gets really high here and then it’ll kind of level off after. So I don’t know if you’ve ever had that urge to pee. Typically that’s when you’d want to go empty your bladder. So once the urge is kind of past that really strong urge, then you go and empty your bladder. So we can use some of those techniques to help train our bladder.

[00:01:57] So some people are going pee. You know, twice an hour. It should be every about two to three hours, no more than four hours, because we can have the opposite problem of if our bladder over stretches, then those signals get a little bit mixed up and we can’t necessarily fully empty your bladder. So then the number one technique you can employ is distraction technique.

[00:02:17] So what you would do is if you have that strong urge to pee, there’s going to be, sometimes there’ll be certain triggers. And then there’s one thing we call the key in the door where you just get home or you press your garage door opener and all of a sudden you have this really strong urge to pee.

[00:02:36] So in those situations, and you might want to stop what you’re doing and sit down. You can apply direct pressure to the area just so you don’t leak into urine.

[00:02:52] For the distraction technique, you can count backwards from a hundred by sevens and try to distract yourself from feeling that urge to pee. You can also do some deep breathing, wiggle your toes because the nerve in those muscles actually is a branch from your bladder and you can actually bypass that signal to your brain.

[00:03:14] Try to do those techniques. And what I would say is try to suppress the urge for a couple of minutes if this is the first time that you’re doing it. Don’t try and do it for 10-15 minutes the first time. Cause again, you might have an accident. So then. Try those. Wait a minute or two. If the urge passes, great.

[00:03:32] Then if you can go on with your day and you still have to go, then get up and slowly and calmly walk to the bathroom. Cause the other thing, is if we hurry to the bathroom all the time  we are making that habitual and your body’s going to respond like that every time and then slowly you’re going to increase the interval of time that you do it.

[00:03:51] You’re also going to do this when you know you really don’t have to pee. So you didn’t just have two cups of water or have two coffees or things like that. So again, it’s one of those things where, you know, you don’t really have to pee when you do go pee. A very, very small amount comes out. And so again, we’re trying to retrain the bladder to have normal habits and you’re looking for a pretty large volume of urine. So again, if you’re peeing and you think it’s like a teaspoon or something small, then then you might need to be doing some bladder training just because you’re having increased frequency. You’re giving into the urge, or you might be having like said urge incontinence.

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