While many of us may not think about our bladder often, bladder health is important, especially for women.
Some important bladder health facts:
- Small amounts of bacteria can live in a healthy bladder.
- The way you eat and drink can affect your bladder.
- Certain health conditions such as diabetes can heighten your chance of getting a bladder infection.
Hema Brazell, MD, division director for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, said, “Urinary leakage, or urinary incontinence, is a very common issue among women.” To achieve better bladder control, she offered the following tips:
- Drink plenty of water. Water is the best fluid for your bladder, and it is recommended that a healthy person should drink six to eight, 8 oz. glasses of water a day.
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverage consumption. These things can upset your bladder, heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage. You should also limit your consumption of artificial sweeteners.
- Don’t delay emptying your bladder. When your bladder tells you that it’s time to go, you go.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco is the most important known risk factor for bladder cancer.
- Practice pelvic floor exercises. These can help strengthen your pelvic floor and are often a successful way to treat certain types of urinary leakage.
The most important thing to know is that you can always talk to your doctor about any problems you may have. “If you are suffering in silence, you should know that you can seek help from a medical professional,” said Dr. Brazell.