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Why Going to the Bathroom “Just in Case” Is a Bad Idea

Do you constantly use the bathroom before getting in the car, watching a movie, or exercising, even when you dont feel the urge? Some experts say you might be causing more trouble for yourself.Your bladder holds about 400 to 500 millilitersabout the size of a can of soda, says Steven A. Kaplan, MD, director of Benign Urologic Diseases and The Men’s Health Program at the Mount Sinai Health System. But if you start going before your bladder is actually full, you might train your bladder to want to empty when its only half that, he says. People sensitize their bladders to go at lower volumes than needed, says Dr. Kaplan. Its hard to get out of that because theyre so used to that.The problem isnt so much that you physically cant hold your pee, but that youve convinced yourself you wont be able to, says Sandip Vasavada, MD, urologist with Cleveland Clinic. Some people prevent leakage by using the bathroom before, say, a workout class. After all, nothing can leak from an empty bladder. But doing that gets you used to peeing at the very first urgeor sooner. They go into the habitual pattern of going all the time, says Dr. Vasavada. Empty your bladder too soon too often, and youll forget just how long you can hold it.If you are prone to leaking, dont be afraid of some preventative peeing before a long stretch of time, like a road trip, says Dr. Vasavada. Going just in case every now and then likely wont cause an issue, unless its a daily habit. In fact, preventative peeing is usually a reaction to an overactive bladder, rather than the cause, says Dr. Vasvada.But if constant bathroom trips frustrate you, try training yourself out of it, says Benjamin Brucker, MD, uro-gynecologist and assistant professor of urology and OB-GYN at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dont give into every small whim of needing to void, he says.

Kegel exercises can help you have fewer bathroom trips

Dr. Brucker recommends keeping a log of your bathroom stops to figure out how often you go and doing Kegel exercises to help you hold it.Kegels are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. These muscles support your bladder. Strengthen them can help fight leakage and incontinence.To find the right muscles, sit on the toilet and start to pee. Stop mid-stream. You can also pretend you are trying to stop passing gas. Women can also pretend to tighten the vagina around a tampon.Once you recognize the muscles and the motion, practice working them while lying down, then while sitting and standing. Contract them for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.Work your way up to holding and relaxing for 10-second periods and try to do them three or four times a day. Make sure you’re not working your abs, legs, or butt muscles at the same time.

The post Why Going to the Bathroom “Just in Case” Is a Bad Idea appeared first on Best Health Magazine Canada.

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