There are 35 million adults in the United States who suffer from bladder problems, according to the National Association for Continence (NAFC). Bladder issues may include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse (POP) disorders, chronic bladder infections, among many others.
If you experience bladder problems, November is your month and this is your week. During National Bladder Health Awareness Month and National Bladder Health Week (Nov. 10-14), the people at NAFC aim to bring awareness to bladder health issues and encourage people to take control of their own bladder health.
Urinary incontinence is a common and often frustrating condition that can be managed through behavioral and lifestyle changes. Below are four ways you can improve your incontinence symptoms and get better bladder control:
Pee every hour, on the hour.
Did you know that you can learn how to retrain your bladder to go when you want it to? The technique, called bladder retraining, involves going to the bathroom on a schedule that’s based on your bladder habits. You can start the schedule with one hour intervals, and then slowly work up to 2-hour and 3-hour intervals. The goal of bladder retraining is to increase your bladder’s capacity to hold urine, which in turn, reduces the amount of bathroom breaks and wetting accidents.
Researchers from the UK are currently developing a “smart diaper” that will alert caregivers when an elderly patient has soiled their adult diaper. The Sensidry System features a moisture-sensitive strip that attaches to a transmitter inside the patient’s diaper. When the diaper becomes wet, an electronic signal is sent to a receiver, which then sends a text message to the caretaker.
According to creator Avtar Chagger, the goal of Sensidry is to help patients maintain their dignity.