Keep Your Bladder Healthy
Updated: Jul 18, 2022
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body. As people get older, the bladder changes. Bladder infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections are extremely common.
While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health. Follow these 10 tips to keep your bladder healthy:
Drink enough fluids, especially water. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart disease. Talk with me about how much fluid is healthy for you.
Don’t smoke. Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. People who smoke are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as people who don’t. Smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in both men and women.
Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight.
Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate.
Use the bathroom often and when needed. Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely.
Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely.
Be in a relaxed position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is best to sit on the toilet seat.
Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. This step is most important after a bowel movement.
Urinate after sex. Both women and men should urinate shortly after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex.
Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing will allow air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.