When You Can’t Hold Your Pee

As adults age, bladder control seems to become more and more of an issue. But just because it seems common doesnít mean itís normal, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, incontinence and overactive bladder are both very real medical issues, and if youíve experienced them, you should know that they arenít just another aspect of getting older.

Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Strength

When it comes to trouble holding your pee, there are generally two sides to the coin: urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. Letís examine the former issue first. Urinary incontinence refers to a muscular inability to maintain a tight enough hold in the sphincter muscles surrounding the urethra (the tube through which urine passes out of our bodies).

As you may already know, incontinence has to do with pelvic floor strength. Many women suffer from incontinence after giving birth, and men and women alike tend to experience a decline in muscular strength as they age. The pelvic floor muscles are no exception.

Pelvic floor strengthening exercises such as kegels will be beneficial for men and women alike. However, there has been some debate among experts recently about whether or not kegels are the best approach to pelvic floor issues. While itís important to strengthen the muscles, kegels are repetitive motions that donít really cover all your bases. Exercises such as light jogging, jumping and yoga also build core and pelvic floor strength, and are an important addition to your strengthening routine.

If the issue is so bad that regular exercise and kegels are simply impossible, itís best to talk to your doctor. Physical therapy, behavioral training and even reconstructive surgery (in extreme cases) are sometimes used, and there are also medications you can consider to combat the issue.

Overactive Bladder Issues

Overactive bladder is a completely separate issue from urinary incontinence. To understand what overactive bladder is, it helps to know how a healthy bladder works.

As your bladder fills with urine, nerve signals alert the brain to contract. These contractions release urine, usually when the bladder is relatively full. A person with an overactive bladder, however, experiences these contractions even when there is little to no urine†in the bladder, resulting in extra-frequent urination as well as accidents.

There are a few natural measures you can take to reduce your symptoms. Healthline urges suffers of overactive bladder to eliminate alcohol and caffeine, as these substances are diuretics (meaning that they cause more frequent urination even in individuals with healthy†bladders). You should also try to space out your water intake, consuming no more than 16 ounces of water at a time.

If you are experiencing either of these issues and they’re†impacting your quality of life, donít feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find ways to deal with the problem so that you wonít be tied down by your urinary issues.


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago


Tania N.
Tania N2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

sharon ogden
sharon ogden2 years ago

thanks xxx

Heidi W.
Heidi W2 years ago

When my grandmother and mother gave birth there wasn't such a thing as a physical therapist visiting you in the maternity ward to exercise and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Nowadays this is basic treatment for new mothers and you must be really stupid to refuse this. I'm not saying women who trained their pelvic floor after childbirth will never get incontinent, but I'm quite sure it can be delayed.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elaine Al Meqdad
Past Member 2 years ago


faith v.
faith v2 years ago

Sorry, the spellcheck corrected "prolapsed" into "prop lapsed". Being a "chicken" (seek and peck) typist, I didn't notice until too late.

faith v.
faith v2 years ago

Seems like I've had an over active bladder all my life! The situation became seriously acute about twelve years after the birth of my third child, when my GP said it was the result of a prop lapsed uterus, and recommended a hysterectomy to solve the problem. So I'm not the expert - that's why I go to a GP - went in for the op and the night before it was done, the operating surgeon suggested taking out the ovaries as well "while he was there". Did I know better? No, . . . . . I do now, though!
It was a massive attack on my body and psyche, basically an instant menopause aged 43, and it did NOT solve the constant-trot situation in any way. Later I found out that surgeons have to do a set number of operations to get in line for promotion, which explains his eagerness but doesn't restore any of the damage done. The point of this story? DON'T BUY THE PROLAPSED UTERUS LINE - it's very expensive and I'm not only talking about money!

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago


Angela G.
Angela G2 years ago