Just like it’s important to get waste out of your house regularly for its upkeep, when it comes to your body, your urinary tract plays an important part! It helps to filter waste and extra fluid from the bloodstream and pushes it out of the system. Having a healthy bladder helps to keep the toxins away, thereby working towards proper functioning of the overall body.
Dr Dhivya R, Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Kauvery Hospital (Electronic City), Bengaluru, says that by following certain everyday habits, women can keep their urinary system healthy.
Tips to keep your bladder healthy
1. Use the washroom 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 your more prone to urinary infection.
2. Take enough time to fully empty the bladder while urinating
If urine stays in the bladder for too long, it can make bladder infection more likely. Rushing to urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder and this may affect the urinary tract system.
3. Be in a relaxed position while urinating
Relaxing the muscles around the bladder make it easy to empty it completely. For women hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is always best to sit on toilet seat.
4. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet
Wiping your private parts after a bowel movement is a must. It can help in keeping urinary tract infections at bay.
5. Urinate after sex
Sexual activity can move bacteria from bowel or vaginal cavity to the urethral opening. Both men and women should urinate after sex to lower infection.
6. Pelvic floor exercise
Also known as kegel exercises, these help to strengthen pelvic floor muscles to hold urine in bladder. Daily exercise strengthen these muscles to keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh. These exercises strengthen muscles that help to keep the urinary bladder, thereby preventing infection.
7. Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes
Wearing loose cotton clothing will keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight fitting pants and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help to grow bacteria.
8. Exercise regularly
Physical activity helps to avoid bladder problem and constipation. It helps to maintain healthy weight. This is important since an overweight person may be at higher risk of leaking urine.
9. Watch what you eat
People with bladder problems should avoid some foods and drinks like soda , artificial sweeteners, spicy food, citrus fruits and juices, as it may worsen the problem.
10. Water consumption
In general, drinking enough fluids helps you urinate every few hours. Flushing the bladder helps you prevent urinary tract infection.
11. Avoid constipation
Too much stool built in the colon is called constipation. Eating plenty of high fiber diet, drinking enough water and being physically active help to prevent it.
12. Quit smoking:
Bladder problems are more common in people who smoke. Smoking irritates the urinary bladder and increase risk of bladder cancer too.
When to seek help for bladder problems?
Some signs of bladder problem include
* Inability to hold wine or leaking urine.
* Need to urinate more frequently and urgently
* Cloudy urine
* Blood in urine
* Pain and burning before, during and after urinating.
* Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating.
* Trouble emptying the bladder
If you experience any of these, meet your doctor. Change your lifestyle for a happy and healthy bladder.