This month serves as a reminder to get the facts about common bladder health problems and to take an active role in your health. During November, the Urology Care Foundation will highlight a different bladder health theme and related resources.
Week 1 Theme: Incontinence, OAB and SUI
Week 2 Theme: Nocturia and Bedwetting
November 6 – 12
Week 3 Theme: Bladder Cancer
November 13 – 19
Week 4 Theme: Bladder Infection/Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
November 20 – 26
Key Bladder Facts
- It’s normal to go to the bathroom 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night.
- The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ, and is made mostly of muscle.
- When the bladder is empty it looks like a deflated balloon. The shape of a bladder changes when it fills up.
- Urine is produced in the kidneys. It flows through tubes called ureters into the bladder.
- The bladder muscle helps you urinate by squeezing to force the urine out.
- Women have shorter urethras than men. Women are more likely to get a bladder infection as bacteria from outside the body can get into the urinary system easier.
- On average, the bladder holds about 2 cups of urine (about 16 ounces).
Bladder Health Tips
- Drink plenty of water. Strive to drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day.
- Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink – these may upset your bladder. Limit your intake of coffee, tea or cola as these can heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage.
- Women should sit to go to the toilet – they should not hover over the toilet seat.
- Take your time when on the toilet so that your bladder can empty – if you rush, and do not empty your bladder fully, over time, you could get a bladder infection.
- Stay away from foods that bother the bladder. Some foods can worsen incontinence. Skip foods like chocolate (also a source of caffeine), as well as spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
- Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training.
- Stop smoking. It is of great value to stop smoking for your bladder health – using tobacco is a major cause of bladder cancer.