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1 cup or 2?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Did you know that our bladders are capable of holding up to 2 cups of liquid? Overnight this capacity can reach about 4 cups!



Urgency incontinence


So why then do you feel like you need to go so many times during the day, and even waking to go a few times overnight?


One reason might be your pelvic floor isn't quite strong enough or functioning as it should. So this may mean you feel like you suddenly need to go and maybe even an involuntary loss of control of your bladder.


Yet, we can also create a habit of going too frequently - as a preventative measure to stop the sudden onset of urgency. This can lead to our brain telling us we MUST go even if only a little bit comes out. This isn't good for us long term either!


This is what happened to me after having my daughter. But it wasn't necessarily caused by a weak pelvic floor. Instead, for what ever reason, I developed an annoying vaginal itch. It was so bad the itch would wake me up at night and then I would need to go to the toilet, just because I was awake.


This went on for so long that it became a habit - I'd be luckily if I only woke once each night. Waking once a night might not sound bad. But because I took so long to get back to sleep after each wake, it was impacting on my sleep. I needed good quality sleep to help me recover from my training and job. When that started to decrease I found it much harder to get up early and get out for a run. It also made me grumpy and irritated during the day!



My solution?

I went and saw a pelvic floor physio (to check on my pelvic floor and see what the process was like so I could tell my clients). We got talking about incontinence and my itching. She suggested that I try using the haemorrhoid cream that I still had from pregnancy to see if that helped.


And you know what, it did! Once the itching stopped I was able to start sleeping through the night again and break the waking habit. I started to feel rested and more recovered. I could then train again without exhausting myself. It goes to show how important sleep is. Also how important it is to address things before they turn into bad habits you need to un-learn.


Another idea to try

Urgency incontinence and going to the toilet more often than you need to re-trains your bladder into thinking it is full when it isn't. However, this feeling is very hard to ignore! So what can you do? It does take a little patience and re-training. One thing you can try as you are rushing for your keys to get inside to get to the bathroom is this. Quick squeezes (and releases) of your vagina and pelvic floor. This takes a little trust that when you relax you won't wet yourself. But this action can make the bladder and brain realise that the bladder isn't full. This will not only give you more time to make it to the toilet but also see if you do really need to go.


If you want to understand your body, how it works and changes at different stages of your life click through to EVEolution. When you are armed with the knowledge it is much easier to identify the solution!




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