I really have to pee
November 28, 2020 12:26 PM   Subscribe

How can I train my body not to pee as soon as I get to the bathroom?

I am a Cis woman, 48 with Diabetes and chronic UTIs. In the past year I have developed urge incontinence. I’ll feel some bladder fullness, go to the bathroom and as soon as I get to the toilet I start to go, whether I’m sitting on it or not. I was on a hike yesterday and had to go and once I got to the porta John I wet my pants because my bladder let go while I was trying to lock the door.
This isn’t a problem pads or diapers can help with because this usually happens as I’m pulling my pants down.
I mention the diabetes because when I was diagnosed I was peeing quite frequently, several times an hour. I still need to go once an hour now, even after lowering my sugar.
I am really scared of this happening at work. I try to go to the bathroom as soon as I feel anything, but I can’t predict my bladder.
I’m looking for any mental or physical exercises I can do to try to make this less likely to happen.
(My urologist knows about the problem but didn’t really have any suggestions)
posted by Biblio to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Pevic Floor Therapy (PFT) is going to be really helpful in this situation.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:29 PM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, PFT is the way to go, and it's pretty frustrating your urologist didn't mention it.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:35 PM on November 28, 2020

Bladders have memories. You can train your bladder.

Here is a great page.
posted by pairofshades at 12:43 PM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

You might look into "latch key bladder" when you have to go. If I visualize having to go to my upstairs bathroom - I can make it to my first floor bathroom.
posted by turtlefu at 12:45 PM on November 28, 2020 [8 favorites]

Latchkey incontinence is a perfect description. I should have mentioned, all of my UTIs seem to have brought on bladder spasms, which apparently are connected to this form of incontinence.
posted by Biblio at 12:52 PM on November 28, 2020

Would a pessary help?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:24 PM on November 28, 2020

Go before you feel the urge. Like, set an alarm to go to the toilet twice and hour.

Another tip. Use an appropriate pad while you’re practicing and only take your pants down first. Take your underwear down second. If it’s pulling your pants down that’s triggering the muscles to release, then the pad will catch the result if it’s in place.

Next, try standing outside the stall and counting to ten before you go into the stall. Visualize having to get your brain through the whole alphabet before you start peeing.

Finally. Be kind to yourself.

I have pushed back on so many incontinence shaming tweets these past few months, and I want to tell you, it makes me so mad that there is so much stigma about what is an extremely common occurrence. Nearly every adult human deals with incontinence at some point. I’m proud of you for reaching out for suggestions. I’m so sorry that your medical team has not been helpful. You might find a doc who is a gynecologist with a secondary specialist in urology, they deal with this All The Time because they see and treat a lot of people who have given birth.

Ok, last thing. Have you considered physical therapy for pelvic floor? In some states, insurance companies have to let you refer yourself for treatment. In other states, you need a doc to fill out a form.
posted by bilabial at 1:26 PM on November 28, 2020 [19 favorites]

I experience this, as well. I've learned that most urinary incontinence is exacerbated by even slight constipation. If I eat more bran, it's not as much of a problem. Thanks for the links, all.
posted by theora55 at 1:59 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Pelvic floor PT can definitely help with incontinence. I’m appalled your urologist didn’t mention it as a solution. If you can’t access it right now, or want to try work at home first, the fitness program MommaStrong does a lot of pelvic floor work that will help and also has a whole program focused on fixing incontinence. Online, $5/month, very approachable and friendly. (I do it and love it, am not otherwise affiliated.) It’s targeted to people who have had babies (lots of whom have continence issues!) but open to anyone so it’s worth looking at even if you haven’t had kids.
posted by john_snow at 3:56 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

I came to say what bilabial said, which, for what it is worth is what my doctor suggested and it really helped me. I don’t have the same conditions as you but I do have urge incontinence. I also recommend keeping some baby wipes in your purse for easy cleanup and yeah.. being kind to yourself. When it has happened in public once or twice people have been surprisingly kind.
posted by eleanna at 4:26 PM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I know a lot of people who recommend the book The Bathroom Key.
posted by corey flood at 10:19 AM on November 29, 2020

These suggestions are also helpful! I did download a pelvic floor exercise app. I will check back with my urologist and make sure he listens to what I am saying. Thank you.
posted by Biblio at 7:41 AM on November 30, 2020

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