The holiday season is jam-packed with gift-giving, festive parties, decorating, delicious pot lucks, and unfortunate traffic while traveling. Having to run to the bathroom during these busy and often cherished moments can be a nuisance, and rather stressful if you are unable to locate a restroom. If you’re feeling the urge to urinate on a frequent basis in a short period of time, it might be more than just too much eggnog — you could have urinary problems.
This is nothing to be ashamed of and should not get in the way of your holiday cheer. Do not avoid attending holiday gatherings because you are worried someone may crack a joke that causes laughter and inevitable urinary leakage.
Over 25% of women experience enough of a problem with leaking urine to seek medical care. Unfortunately, many women also unnecessarily suffer in silence. At Garrison Women’s Health, we don’t want you to be silent!
Let’s start by explaining urinary incontinence, which is the loss of bladder control.
Some people experience sporadic, minor leaks of urine, while others may lose small to moderate amounts of urine more regularly. It typically occurs during activities that increase pressure inside the abdomen and push down on the bladder.
There are two forms of urinary incontinence:
- Stress Incontinence: If you leak urine when you laugh, sneeze, run, cough, jump, or even walk, you are not alone. Many women have this problem, especially after childbirth.
- Overactive Bladder: This is a problem that causes a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be difficult to suppress, and overactive bladder can even lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence).
But have no fear — there is hope yet for a pee-free holiday. Dr. Chase suggests the following tips for managing your bladder:
- Drink water. Water does not irritate the bladder like caffeine, alcohol, and artificially sweetened beverages do.
- If you do consume alcohol or caffeine, have a glass of water first. It will dilute the irritant effects and be less likely to lead to urgency and incontinence.
- Teach your bladder to wait until it is the right time for it to empty. When the urge comes, tell your bladder “not yet,” do a good kegel squeeze and slowly release it. This tends to relax the bladder temporarily as you make your way to the bathroom. If this does not work, make an appointment so we can help you develop a plan that will work for you.
So go on, take back control of your bladder, and enjoy those holiday parties!
If you’re experiencing frequent, sudden urges to urinate, look no further than the team at Garrison Women’s Health, who focus on assisting women who have problems with urinary incontinence. Schedule your consultation today!
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