Friday, February 22, 2008

Urgent bladder holding on line one

OK, who wants to talk about incontinence? Me neither. Let's come up with a nice, non-threatening euphemism. Doctors often have a strangely poetic way with words,cue the doctor! And the doctor says... "Urgent bladder".

That's much better. It sounds like you're on a dangerous and important mission. Or at least, your bladder is. Unfortunately, this selfish little organ is not the type to stand up well under duress, and when the going gets tough, the bladder gets going.

Several ways of dealing with this little bully come to mind:

1.) Not drinking Advantages: Nothing in, nothing out. Disadvantages: Dry mouth, dehydration, premature death
2.) Adult diapers Advantages: Relive your childhood. Disadvantages: Humiliation, self-loathing, reliving your childhood.

Great. What we really need here is another option. Fortunately I just happen to have one. Voila!

3.) Kegels

Those of you who were paying attention in childbirth class might remember these. Kegels are taught to expectant mothers to strengthen muscles that are stretched during delivery. While flipping through a promotional pamphlet from On Health, I noticed that they recommend this exercise for both Women and men to control urinary problems. Those of you who paid attention in childbirth class can stop reading now. For the rest of you...

Here is how to Kegel, adapted from wikiHow

Locate pelvic muscles. You can do this by stopping the flow of urine when you are going to the bathroom. Then start it again. These are your pelvic muscles. Do this only to find the muscles. It's not healthy to stop and start urinating.

Tighten and relax these muscles daily. Try and work up to 100-200 times a day. Or choose a certain thing to associate with them - for instance, kegel at every red light you come to, or every time you open the fridge.

* Get into a comfortable position. You can do these exercises sitting in a chair or lying on the floor. Relax buttock and tummy.
* Imagine you are trying to hold back urine; lift and squeeze from the inside. Try and hold that action for the count of three.
* Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind; lift and squeeze your anus and hold for a count of three.
* Combine those two movements into one fluid movement. Starting from the front, lift and squeeze, don't let go, follow through to your anus, lift and squeeze. Relax. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
* Rest for 10 - 20 seconds and repeat.
* Work towards 12 strong holds and as it starts to become easier, try holding for longer, and repeat as many times as you can.

Next post: Aerobic Kegeling!

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