As we age, bladder control and health become prominent issues in women’s health. The problems are seemingly impossible to avoid, but with a few tips, preventative measures can be taken. Here are the keys to a healthy bladder.
Maintain a bladder-focused diet
Problems like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and urinary incontinence are quite frequent in women as they grow older. There are a few foods that can help maintain a healthy bladder. First, of course, are cranberries. Add cranberries to your daily diet or drink one glass of 100 percent cranberry juice each day. This simple dietary change can help you stave off UTIs because cranberries have been proven effective in blocking virulent bacteria like the ones that cause UTIs. Whole grains and other fibrous foods like broccoli can also help by keeping your digestive system in line. No constipation means less pressure on your bladder.
Drink plenty of water
In a world where we have thousands of drink options to choose from, water often seems like the boring choice, but H2O is not only important to a woman’s overall health, but to her bladder health as well. After all, that’s where water goes. Water flushes out the system and keeps the body properly hydrated. While caffeine can dehydrate, water makes sure your bladder is running at full efficiency.
This might sound like cliché advice, but, according to the American Urological Association, smokers are three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers. On top of the risk of other cancers, smoking is just not worth it to your overall health. If you need help quitting, online resources like cancer.org or smokefree.gov can help.
Urinate after sex
Sure, you might not want to kill the romance post-coitus, but urinating after sex can make sure your bladder cleanses itself of unwanted bacteria, helping to prevent UTIs and even yeast infections. Don’t wait. Once you re-gain your energy, pop right out of bed and head to the bathroom.
Do Kegel exercises
If you have issues with bladder weakness, Kegel exercises can help. Kegels are a vaginal exercise that maintains the strength of the pelvic floor. Just as you would work out to maintain the strength of any other muscle at the gym, your pelvic floor needs exercise to keep its strength. Plus, this exercise is easy and you can do it anywhere! No one will ever know. To do Kegels, simply tighten your pelvic floor (located inside the vagina) in reps of 10, holding them for 5 seconds each.