How can bladder training help treat urinary incontinence?

Bladder training, or kegel exercises, helps treat urinary incontinence because it helps strengthen a weak pelvic floor. In this video, urologist Harry Fisch, MD, explains how kegel exercises can help with urinary incontinence symptoms.
You might be teaching your bladder some bad habits -- habits that can gradually result in urinary incontinence or frequent bathroom breaks. For example, if you routinely urinate before your bladder is full, it learns to signal the need to go when less volume is present. That can set up a vicious cycle, as you respond to the new urges and teach your bladder to cry "run" when less and less urine is present.

Luckily, old bladders can learn new tricks. Bladder training, a program of urinating on schedule, enables you to gradually increase the amount of urine you can comfortably hold. Bladder training is a mainstay of treatment for urinary frequency and overactive bladder in both women and men, alone or in conjunction with medications or other techniques. It can also help prevent or lessen symptoms of overactive bladder that may emerge after surgery for stress incontinence. You can try it on your own or with the guidance and support of a health professional. Because bladder training is low-cost and low-risk, your clinician may encourage you to try it first, even before specific diagnostic tests are performed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.