Do you find yourself running to the bathroom all day long? Trying to drink less to make it stop?
The bladder is capable of holding approximately 16 oz, or 2 cups, of liquid. Many people have been told that it is unhealthy to hold in urine, though this is typically not true! A "typical" person should be urinating 5-8 times per day, and ideally not at night at all, unless over the age of 55.
Did you know the urge to pee isn’t just as simple as your bladder being full? Sometimes it isn’t full at all, and can be trained to hold a greater volume of urine! The feeling of having to urinate is a very complex process involving many muscles including the muscles of the bladder and pelvic floor, as well as nerves and organs that work together to send these messages. If any one (or more) of these things is not sending the correct signal, it can cause frequent urges to urinate.
In a typical bladder, the first urge to pee happens when the bladder is approximately half full. The nerves of the bladder send a message to your brain that it is time to go. The brain then ignores the message, until the bladder is almost at max capacity, and then tells you to find a bathroom. This signal can be trained to be delayed in people whose signal is coming too early, allowing you to fill the bladder, resulting in less trips to the bathroom. Being able to fill the bladder involves conscious effort from the brain, bladder and pelvic floor muscles!
Every person is different, and how/why their bladder and brain sends signals will differ. Factors such as age, childbirth history, stress, underlying medical conditions, liquid intake and time of day will all play a role in how your bladder is functioning.
If you find yourself urinating more than every 2-3 hours, feeling rushed to get to a bathroom, or experiencing urinary leakage, a pelvic floor physiotherapist can help!