As Alfred Hitchcock said “the length of the film should be directly related to the endurance of the bladder”
The bladder is the storage organ for urine.
- The bladder wall is muscle
- The urethra sits directly under the bladder and is the tube in which urine exits
- There are two urethral sphincters (both internal and external) and imagine they are the gates for the bladder, controlling the passage of urine subconsciously
- Your pelvic floor sits at the same level as the external sphincter, also assisting with continence control
Over time as the bladder gradually fills up with urine, the sphincters remain closed. When the bladder reaches its full capacity, a process of emptying the bladder occurs: the sphincters open and the bladder wall squeezes the urine out and it exits via the urethra.
So what happens when the bladder function changes?
The bladder can change and when it changes, it can be embarrassing and for some can impact their social activities. Some of the signs and symptoms of this can be:
- Changes in bladder control and not being able to hold for long periods. Maybe you know where all the public toilets are located? Or are you just making it in time?
- Is there something that triggers a need to empty the bladder such as running water or drinking caffeine?
- Feeling the need to empty the bladder frequently
- Waking multiple times over night (or if over 65 years old, more than twice). Is this impacting how you function the next day? Any bedwetting?
- Incontinence with poor bladder control, such as not making it to the toilet in time or a sense of urgency?
- Incontinence with activities that increase abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercising
- Having to wear a pad and feeling uncomfortable about it
- Changes with how you are emptying your bladder such as not emptying, stop start flow and pain with emptying the bladder