Dr. Mandi Murtaugh Physical Therapy + Yoga

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Urgency Part 3: Mind Over Bladder

Bladder training: it’s like potty training...yourself. Because really: who teaches us what’s normal once we’re adults? No one. Unless it’s a problem. Then it’s often me (or another Pelvic PT). Just call me your Bladder Coach.

(If you haven’t read Urgency Part 1 & Part 2, head back to them first. It’s imperative to understand what urinary urgency is and why your bladder is giving you funky signals before any of this bladder training makes sense. After you read those, then carry on!)

Here’s how to train your bladder so it listens to YOU, instead of YOU being bossed around. I call these steps “Mind Over Bladder”:

1. When you get an urge, DON’T RUN TO THE BATHROOM. Stop where you are. Sit down if you can. Just don’t head to the loo.

2. Start squeezing your pelvic floor (yes, cross your legs too if you want!). Squeezing your PF actually tells your bladder to chill out and calm down. 

3. Distract yourself. Count backward from 100 by 7’s or recite the Star-Spangled Banner in your head. Try not to think of how bad you have to pee.

4. Stay calm & breathe. An urge is literally a contraction—it will end eventually, no matter how strong it seems to get. Ride it out.

5. Once it’s gone (or *mostly* gone) calmly head toward the toilet. If it starts up again, start back at step #1.

The goal is CONTROL. Your bladder is highly trainable, and it’s used to getting what it wants (to be emptied) after it sends you the urge signal. You need to train it out by separating the urge from the reward. As you practice this consistently, you’ll start to notice more of that normal feeling of FULLNESS instead of the urge, and it will get easier to control.

I know it might sound crazy, but this stuff WORKS. There are countless women who are just handed a pill when they complain of urgency, but best practices recommend bladder training BEFORE medication for urgency. If this is you, try these steps! I’ve helped women wean off of bladder meds they’ve been on for years.

Tried it on your own and didn’t succeed? Reach out for help from a Bladder Coach (aka Pelvic PT). We’re here for you.

Want a FREE Coaching session (aka phone consult?) Click HERE to schedule!