Before reading on if you want to know what bladder urgency and frequency is, have a look at the page about urgency and frequency in our resource section. Bladder urgency happens because, for many reasons, your bladder contracts when it shouldn't. The only time it should contract is when you give it permission to when you are on the loo or squatting behind a bush.
Bladder urgency can rule your life but it doesn't need to. Here is how I explain it to my patients and a few strategies to help calm the bladder, once urgency has been diagnosed. However please ensure you have had a full medical check and been properly diagnosed prior to attempting any bladder training as there are some medical causes of frequency and urgency that need to be treated medically.
23rd - 29th May is Exercise Right Week here in Australia , a great initiative of ESSA, the professional association for Exercise Physiologists.
In my clinic I work with some fabulous exercise physiologists who are passionate about assisting our patients with their rehabiliatation progams to get them back to a healthy and active lifestyle.
I am also very lucky that several of them have an interest in women's health and work closely with me, keen to be working in a pelvic floor safe way with our mutual patients as well as taking my rehab programs to the next level which is their area of expertise.
Do you feel the need, the need for speed when getting to the toilet to pee?
An urgent need to get to the loo is a common thing and often mistakenly called a "weak bladder" and excuses are made 'I have been like this since I was a child' or 'it is only since I had the kids'
There is no such thing as a weak bladder. There are weak pelvic floor muscles, there is stretched fascial tissue, there is a low compliant bladder (the muscular wall of the bladder is stiff and won't stretch well - like blowing up a balloon for the first time), there is an overactive detrusor ( bladder wall muscle which contracts when it shouldn't) but you don't have a weak bladder - it is the support and control mechanisms that are not working properly.
WHEN IS A LEAK NOT A LEAK?
The short answer is never but you would be forgiven for thinking that little leaks or "LBL 's" are not really leaks, going by the media and advertising reports we have been bombarded with of late.
There have been some very high profile campaigns excusing you from worrying about those embarrassing little leaks and freeing you up to just wear a pad and forget it.
Well you may be able to do that....at first. But that annoying little leak will soon become a gush or a whole bladder full.
You will start to go just in case in order to keep your bladder empty - so it can't leak and let you down - and this will lead to a smaller bladder capacity
(can't hold as much), frequency and urgency which can lead to further leaks and a whole big mess.
So then you might be scared to go out, stop going to the gym or be the one at the back of the class so you can run out unnoticed to go to the loo halfway through the star jumps and all
The weak bladder fallacy is interesting and one I suspect finds its roots in our vernacular language – just as the term “slipped disc” is common lay terminology although anatomically incorrect. The “weak bladder” has similar familiarity: we know what Sally means when she says “Oh I have such a weak bladder” but it is anatomically and physiologically incorrect....