Your Bladder and your Pelvic Floor
What does your bladder do? Do you even know? How does it relate to your Pelvic Floor muscles?
It's something that a lot of people only think about when something is going wrong.
Your bladder if under the age of 70 should store 350ml to 500ml of urine and will send a stretch message to your brain when your bladder is full.
Once your brain gets the message that your bladder is full, your pelvic floor muscles and your urethral sphincter relaxe then it’s your bladder’s job as a muscle to pump out the urine by contracting. Your pelvic floor then contracts and the outlet is closed, relaxing your bladder and allowing it to refill as you go about your day.
So basically it’s your pelvic floor muscles that tell your bladder when to pump and when to relax.
So what might happen if your pelvic floor muscles lost some of their strength? it might lose control over the bladder and it may start contracting whenever it wants to known as “urgency” or some leakage may start to occur.
Essentially you want to have a strong pelvic floor to be able to contract them but also know how to relax it to allow the normal bodily functions to occur.
- Never strain to empty your bladder or push on your stomach just relax your pelvic floor and your abdominals and your urine should flow out easily.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated, .033 X your body weight for a rough estimate in litres/day and more if you are exercising or breastfeeding.
- Caffeine can be an irritant to your bladder - minimise the amount you have per day.
- Alcohol is a diuretic, a bladder irritant and a muscle relaxant which will make frequency or urgency issues worse.
- Stop doing the “just in case visits” to the bathroom, only go when you get the sensation your bladder is full.
- Only encourage your daughters to urinate when they need to.
Womens’ Waterworks by Dr Pauline Chiarelli
Pelvic Floor Essentials by Sue Croft